Follow-up inspection report released for Rimutaka Prison

The inspection report for Rimutaka Prison has been released by the Office of the Inspectorate today.

“Prison inspections aim to provide assurance that people in the care of the Department of Corrections are treated fairly, safely and humanely, and that emerging risks and good practice are identified early,” says Chief Inspector Janis Adair.

The inspection found many positive features at Rimutaka Prison, such as a more consistent induction process, better prisoner access to telephone calls with their lawyer, lower contraband levels and improved meals.

Prisoners in low security units reported they felt safe from bullying, violence and standovers. There also continued to be a broad range of education programmes available to engage prisoners in learning.

The inspection found, however, that violence, gang activity and standovers continued to occur in most of the high security units. The unlock regime brought in to manage this had resulted in prisoners spending limited time out of their cells, although some felt safer.

“I visited Rimutaka Prison in July and received an update from the Prison Director,” says Ms Adair. “I was pleased to follow up some of the changes made at the prison in response to this report’s findings.”

The inspection was unannounced and followed an initial inspection which took place in 2017. It is part of the Office of the Inspectorate’s new phase of follow-up inspections of all 18 New Zealand prisons.

The inspection utilised the Inspection Standards, developed by the Office of the Inspectorate, which describe the standards of treatment of prisoners and conditions that prisons are expected to achieve. The Inspection Standards derive from the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (‘the Nelson Mandela Rules’).

The Office of the Inspectorate, while part of the Department of Corrections, is operationally independent to ensure objectivity and integrity.

Read the Rimutaka Prison follow-up unannounced inspection report on our website.