Investigation into allegations against ASCF and ASCF's response

This report contains information in relation to an investigation into allegations documented in correspondence received 17 October 2016 regarding concerns of prisoners and staff safety at Auckland South Corrections Facility. Redactions made to the documents have been made consistent with provisions of the Official Information Act 1982.

Internal Memorandum
Corporate Services

Date: 25 January 2017
File Reference: C80922

To: Andy Fitzharris, Chief Inspector
From: Louise MacDonald & Jason Ekins, Inspectors of Corrections
C.C Prison Director - ASCF, Regional Commissioner - Northern Corrections Services

Subject: Investigation into allegations documented in correspondence received 17 October 2016 from [Redacted under S.9(2)(ba)(i)] regarding concerns of prisoners and staff safety at ASCF.

For your information and action

Background - Initial complaint

  1. On 17 October 2016 the Department of Corrections, Ministerial Services received a four page letter dated 13 October 2016 from [Redacted under S.9(2)(ba)(i)], addressed to the Chief Executive, Department of Corrections. A copy is attached as Appendix 1.
  2. The letter highlighted specific and general allegations raised by prisoners with [Redacted under S.9(2)(ba)(i)] and observations by [Redacted under S.9(2)(ba)(i)] while visiting the site on a number of occasions from May to October 2016.
  3. The Chief Executive responded to [Redacted under S.9(2)(ba)(i)] on 17 October 2016 advising that the concerns raised will be investigated by the Department's Inspectorate Office. A copy is attached as Appendix 2.
  4. This report is that investigation, with the body of the report documenting the background, methodology, overall opinions, findings and recommendations of the Inspectors.
  5. The specific allegations as detailed in the letter by named prisoner are addressed in Appendix 3 and the general allegations have been addressed in Appendix 4.


  1. The Investigation was completed by Inspectors, Louise MacDonald and Jason Ekins and consisted of the following;
    • Interview prisoners previously interviewed by [Redacted under S.9(2)(ba)(i)].
    • Interview group of random prisoners selected by Inspectors.
    • Interview prisoners who had sustained suspicious injuries.
    • Discussions with ASCF management and staff (custodial, health, IT, Intel, HR, administration, compliance).
    • Discussions with  Department of Corrections managers  & staff currently located at ASCF (monitors & mentors).
    • Review of electronic data (e.g. CCTV, cell alarms, phone calls, local prisoners' computers & kiosk)
    • Review of prisoners electronic files (custodial & health)
    • Review of ASCF local Policy and Procedure Manual
    • Review of specific health information pertaining to injuries sustained by prisoners
    • Review of site roster
    • Contact with some prisoner's families
    • Personal observations of the site [Redacted under S.6(c)].
    • Housing Block records and management  meeting records
    • Monitor's monthly reports
  2. The Investigation also met with the Prison Director prior to the commencement of the investigation and following the site visit.
  3. Throughout the course of this investigation, issues were identified, none were classified as urgently significant which would require immediate notification to ASCF management and/or Department of Corrections.