Inspection report released for Whanganui Prison

The Office of the Inspectorate today released its inspection report for Whanganui 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, in general, Whanganui Prison had a well maintained physical environment and met prisoners’ basic needs for food, shelter, clothing and bedding. Throughout the prison, staff appeared highly active and engaged in supervising and managing prisoners.

The prison placed considerable emphasis on ensuring that all prisoners had access to rehabilitation and training opportunities. A significant proportion of prisoners were engaged in industry, treatment and/or learning programmes.

The prison’s wrap-around programme for young Māori prisoners was innovative and showed promising initial results.

The inspection was carried out in September 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:

  • 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 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.

Read the Whanganui Prison inspection report here.

Note: For context and completeness, this statement should be viewed alongside Corrections’ response to the release of the inspection report for Whanganui Prison.