Inspection report released for Christchurch Women's Prison
The Office of the Inspectorate today released an inspection report for Christchurch Women’s Prison.
Inspections provide a ‘window into prisons’, giving early warning of emerging risks and challenges, and highlighting areas of innovation and good practice.
The inspection found the prison provided a safe and healthy environment where prisoners’ needs were met. Prisoners had access to a range of activities to keep them engaged and support positive change, including rehabilitation programmes, work experience and education programmes.
At the time of the inspection, Christchurch Women’s Prison was at capacity, with all beds full. The prison was short-staffed and under pressure in some areas. Despite this, there was little evidence of violence and gang activity, access to contraband was low and there was relatively little intimidation.
The inspection took place in May 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.
Note: For context and completeness, this statement should be viewed alongside Corrections’ response to the release of the inspection report for Christchurch Women’s Prison.
Read the complete Christchurch Women’s Prison Inspection report on our website.