M.03.03 Feeding and bonding facilities
- The feeding and bonding facilities aim to replicate a domestic lounge setting for female prisoners to feed and bond with their children on a daily basis in a safe, suitable and secure environment, encouraging pro-social activity for the prisoner, and providing for the inherent rights of the child.
- Feeding and bonding facilities are designated facilities for those prisoners who are not eligible or choose not to have their child with them in full-time residence in a self-care unit.
- Prisoners who have regular contact visits with their children in feeding and bonding facilities are able to:
- minimise the impact of their imprisonment on their children.
- demonstrate the fostering of their relationship with their child.
- actively contribute to the reduction in the likelihood of intergenerational criminality.
M.03.03.01 Feeding and bonding facility access criteria
- Female prisoners must:
- have a child under 24 (twenty-four) months old
- sign the M.03.03.Form.02 Agreement for use of feeding and bonding facilities
- be low-medium / low / minimum if feeding and bonding facility in internal SCU
- be minimum if feeding and bonding facility in external SCU.
M.03.03.02 Feeding and bonding facility access retention criteria
- Prisoners must:
- be alcohol and drug-free
- have continued commitment from caregiver to provide access to the child
- adhere to the signed M.03.03 Form.02 Agreement for use of feeding and bonding facilities.
M.03.03.03 Application for use of feeding and bonding facilities
- Applications to have any child brought into the Prison for the purposes of feeding and bonding must be made to the prison director.
- The prisoner must:
- complete section 3 of M.03.03.Form.01 Application for use of feeding and bonding facilities
- enter into an agreement using the M.03.03.Form.02 Agreement for use of feeding and bonding facilities with the prison director about the conditions of using a feeding and bonding facility.
M.03.03.04 Prison director consideration of application
- The prison director, before making a decision, must:
- consider the best interest of the child, and
- be satisfied that the placing is not inconsistent with any court order relating to the child, and
- be satisfied that the placing is consistent with maintaining the security and good order of the prison.
- If the applicant is an accused prisoner and will be mixing with sentenced prisoners, the prison director must obtain approval from Manager Operations Support in National Office.
Note: The case manager, on behalf of the prison director, will liaise with the Ministry of Justice and Child, Youth and Family to clarify any legal orders pertaining to the child and will consult with other corrections staff where appropriate.
M.03.03.05 Procedure when prison director approves application
- Prison director must:
- endorse M.03.03.Form.02 Agreement for use of feeding and bonding facilities
- sign M.03.03.Form.03 Decision for use of feeding and bonding facilities
- forward the forms to the prisoner’s unit PCO, who then informs the prisoner and arranges for the feeding and bonding sessions to begin.
M.03.03.06 Procedure when prison director declines application
- The prison director records on M.03.03.Form.03 Decision for use of feeding and bonding facilities his or her reasons for declining the application for part time care of the child in a feeding and bonding facility.
- The prison director forwards M.03.03.Form.03 Decision for use of feeding and bonding facilities to the unit PCO, who informs the prisoner, their application has been declined.
- The unit PCO arranges for the prisoner to undertake M.05 Prisoners at risk of self harm review assessment.
- The prisoner must be informed that she can have this decision reviewed by the senior advisor to regional commissioner, through the Prisoner complaints process. A copy of M.03.03.Form.03 Decision for use of feeding and bonding facilities is given to the prisoner.
- The signed M.03.03.Form.03 Decision for use of feeding and bonding facilities is placed in prisoner’s file under D section.
M.03.03.07 Feeding and bonding facilities rules
- A prisoner approved to use the feeding and bonding facilities must have 24-hour access to breast pumps for the purpose of expressing milk. (This requires breast pumps and polystyrene chill bags for storage being available in feeding and bonding facilities during the day and in the prisoner’s cell at night).
- The prisoner’s use of the facility ceases when:
- it is deemed to no longer be in the best interests of the child (in consultation with appropriate staff and external agencies)
- the child reaches 24 (twenty-four) months of age
- the prisoner is paroled
- the prisoner is released.
- The prison director may end the use of the feeding and bonding facility if the prisoner:
- becomes IDU
- is not meeting their responsibilities under the agreement.
- Sites must have a feeding and bonding facility procedure instructing and assisting staff working in these facilities.
- Should the prisoner not meet the criteria to use the feeding and bonding facilities, arrangements to express milk and transportation of the milk to the child will be arranged with the primary caregiver of the child, or CYF, as the case may be.
M.03.03.08 Feeding and bonding facilities standards
- The room must be separate from the cell / living / day room and have access to:
- a baby changing area
- a refrigerator
- running water for washing hands and making drinks
- toilet facilities, and
- have comfortable seating for prisoner and caregiver
- space for a cot, and
- have access to an outside area.