Inspection reports for three prisons released
18 April 2019
The Office of the Inspectorate today released inspection reports for Auckland South Corrections Facility, Rimutaka Prison and Otago Corrections Facility.
Inspections provide a ‘window into prisons’, giving early warning of emerging risks and challenges, and highlighting areas of innovation and good practice.
Inspections are carried out against a set of healthy prison standards derived from United Nations guidelines on the treatment of people in detention (known as the Nelson Mandela Rules). These standards consider all aspects of prison life, with a particular focus on four guiding principles:
Safety: Prisoners are held safely
Respect: Prisoners are treated with respect for human dignity
Rehabilitation: Prisoners are able, and expect, to engage in activity that is likely to benefit them
Reintegration: Prisoners are prepared for release into the community and helped to reduce their likelihood of re-offending
The inspection report for Auckland South Corrections Facility found that prisoners’ physical and mental health needs were generally well met, but the prison was facing a number of challenges. Staffing pressures were felt across the prison and waiting times for rehabilitation programmes could be long.
The Rimutaka Prison report found the prison generally provided a good environment in which prisoners’ needs were met and most staff interacted positively with prisoners. The increased prisoner population (at the time of the inspection), gang membership and access to contraband created conditions that provided some prisoners the opportunity to engage in violence.
Our inspection found that Otago Correction Facility, in most respects, was working effectively. The physical environment was secure and well maintained. The prison was safe, with very active and vigilant staff, very few issues with contraband, and relatively few issues with violence or intimidation among prisoners.
The Office of the Inspectorate is part of the Department of Corrections, but is required to act independently in its inspections and other investigations. The Office of the Inspectorate also carries out investigations into complaints from people under Correction’s management, investigates all deaths in custody, and can be tasked to carry out special investigations.
The inspection reports can be found here: https://inspectorate.corrections.govt.nz/reports/prison_inspection_reports.html