Inspectorate to shine a light on young adults in prison

31 January 2024

Chief Inspector Janis Adair is pleased to announce the appointment of a panel of academic and professional experts from across New Zealand who will provide insights into the Office of the Inspectorate’s thematic inspection into young people and young adults in Correction’s custody.  The Expert Panel first met with key members of the Inspectorate in December 2023, for a constructive and purposeful full day session. Two further meetings are scheduled. The report is intended to be completed and published mid-2024.

The Expert Panel members are:

  • Dr James Gardiner, Forensic Psychiatrist at the Regional Youth Forensic Health Service in Auckland.
  • Dr Jarrod Gilbert, Director of Independent Research Solutions and Sociologist at the University of Canterbury.
  • Professor Ian Lambie, Chief Science Advisor for the Justice Sector.
  • Dr Valerie McGinn, Neuropsychologist, the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Centre, Aotearoa; Honorary Senior Research Fellow Department of Population Health, University of Auckland,
  • Professor Tracey McIntosh (Ngāi Tūhoe), Professor of Indigenous Studies and Co-Head of Te Wānanga o Waipapa | University of Auckland, Chief Science Advisor at Ministry of Social Development, Commissioner at Te Kāhui Tātari Ture | Criminal Cases Review Commission.
  • Tupua Urlich (Ngāti Kahungunu), National Care Experienced Lead - VOYCE Whakarongo Mai.

25 January 2024

Site visits for the Office of the Inspectorate’s Young Adult thematic inspection started this month at Mt Eden Corrections Facility, and visits to Otago Corrections Facility and Auckland Prison are underway this week. All 18 prisons will be visited as part of the thematic inspection.

This week we had a valuable two days with a group of men and women who had spent time in custody from a young age to hear of their insights and experiences, the challenges they faced when returning to the community, and what helps to keep them out of the Corrections system.

The thematic inspection aims to find out how Corrections responds to the developmental needs, challenges and opportunities for young men and women in prison, and identify concerns, examples of good practice and areas for improvement.

20 December 2023

The Office of the Inspectorate is examining the conditions and experiences of young adults under the age of 25 in Corrections’ custody.

The thematic inspection will investigate how Corrections considers and responds to the developmental needs, challenges and opportunities for young men and women in prison, identifying concerns, examples of good practice and areas for improvement.

The thematic inspection will determine whether the management of young people is consistent with the Corrections Act, Corrections Regulations, Office of the Inspectorate Inspection Standards, as well as international instruments and best practice literature.

The inspection team will meet with young men and women across all 18 prisons and also gather insights from whānau, families, supports, community providers and staff.

The inspection is supported by a range of experts, including a panel with extensive academic and professional expertise.

There is also a panel of experts with lived-experience, who now draw on their experiences to give back to others in the community.

The thematic inspection commenced in September 2023 and will issue a public report by mid-2024.

At present, under 25-year-olds make up around 10% of the total population in Corrections’ custody.

We will provide more information about the thematic inspection in early 2024.

The Terms of Reference for the thematic inspection are here: