Jailed members of an Auckland street gang are using cellphones smuggled into prison to send out photos of themselves.
Supporters of the JCBs - Juvanyle Crip Boys - are posting the photos on the internet and calling for jailed members, in prison for violence offences, to be freed.
The Weekend Herald has obtained a photo of a member of the JCBs taken inside Mt Eden Prison, and others of JCBs members in custody in court cells.
There are also photos of JCBs members with guns, and partying with Black Power members.
A newborn baby is shown wrapped in JCB gang regalia, and one photo shows members of an associated South Auckland street gang posing with Prime Minister Helen Clark.
The photos are being circulated among a network of four South Auckland street gangs called the "Crip Family", and some are on the Bebo social networking website.
Corrections Minister Damien O'Connor yesterday said the JCBs prison photo was outrageous.
He said the Government would next week announce "jamming technology" that stopped cellphones working in prisons.
Mr O'Connor conceded Corrections was having trouble keeping cellphones out of prisons.
A prisoner in Rimutaka jail was yesterday alleged to have been using smuggled phones to mastermind importing $1 million worth of drugs from Thailand.
National Party justice spokesman Simon Power said Corrections' ineptitude was "helping glamorise people who don't take the justice system seriously".
The department said it would investigate the photo of the JCBs member.
Helen Clark said the photo of her arm-in-arm with gang members was "most disturbing".
It shows her with two teenagers who are doing a "Crips" hand signal, and has been posted on the internet titled "Cripn' Clark".
The teenager to the Prime Minister's left is wearing a TNS - Thugs Not Soldiers - cap. The TNS are also in the Crip Family.
A spokeswoman for Helen Clark said the photo was taken in March, while she was visiting a "family fun day" in an Otahuhu Housing NZ neighbourhood.
"She is most disturbed to hear that someone has tried to take advantage of that."
Jurors sent on a mission
A judge has ordered a jury to "go back and make South Auckland a safer place" after it let eight JCBs walk free for a gang attack that nearly killed a teenager.
Chief Manukau District Court Judge Charles Blackie said it was a "tragedy" that juries were being called upon more and more frequently to listen to cases of street gang violence.
South Auckland was becoming more and more dangerous, and the violence had to be curbed - "otherwise you are going to see more and more people who come within an inch of losing their life".
The trial, which ended last month, was for an October 2005 attack in a Mangere Park where up to 15 JCBs took to three teenagers with a baseball bat, steel bar, hammer, machete and lengths of wood. One of the victims was left paralysed and unable to speak.
The jury acquitted all eight JCBs who went to trial for the attack. Other gang members had earlier admitted their involvement.
Six JCBs were convicted this year for their part in a night of violence that cost $2.5 million to investigate.
Message To RBG Family From RBG SS: "Revolutionary Warfare"