Rimutaka Prison Inspection Report
The report found the prison generally provided a good environment in which prisoners’ needs were met and most staff interacted positively with prisoners. The increased prisoner population (at the time of the inspection), gang membership and access to contraband created conditions that provided some prisoners the opportunity to engage in violence.
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 (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 Corrections management, investigates all deaths in custody, and can be tasked to carry out special investigations.