Prison inspection report released for Hawkes Bay Regional Prison

22 November 2018

The Office of the Inspectorate today released an inspection report into Hawkes Bay Regional Prison.

The Inspectorate report found that, over the past year, the prison had reduced violence and intimidation, reduced graffiti and vandalism, taken steps to reduce access to contraband, significantly increased out-of-cell programmes and activities, and increased support for prisoners at risk of self-harm.

The Hawkes Bay Regional Prison report is in two parts – an inspection in 2017 highlighted some of the pressures facing the prison, including challenges associated with the rising prison population (as it was then), double bunking, pressures on staff, the influence of gangs and barriers to rehabilitation.

A follow-up inspection in July 2018 focused on areas previously identified as needing improvement. The follow-up inspection found the prison had made significant improvements across a wide range of areas, including its physical environment and security, active management of prisoners, access to out of cell activities and controlling access to contraband.

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. 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.

This is the fifth inspection report released since the Office of the Inspectorate’s role was enhanced and its functions were expanded last year.

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.

Note: For context and completeness, this statement should be viewed alongside Corrections’ response to the Hawkes Bay Regional Report.

Read the Hawkes Bay Regional Prison Report on our website