Inspection report for Tongariro Prison released
26 September 2019
The Office of the Inspectorate today released its inspection report for Tongariro Prison.
Inspections provide a ‘window into prisons’, giving early warning of emerging risks and challenges, and highlighting areas of innovation and good practice.
The report found that Tongariro Prison kept prisoners safe and staff treated prisoners in a humane and respectful manner. Levels of violence and intimidation were low, access to contraband was limited and staff-prisoner interactions were generally positive.
Prisoners had good access to telephones and family visits, with a range of activities, rehabilitation programmes, work experience and education programmes. Prisoners’ health and mental health needs were generally well met.
There were no significant issues with the
quality and quantity of clothing, bedding or food, but
prisoners were unhappy about transport conditions.
The inspection was carried out in April 2018.
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:
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 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.