R.07 Standard release
The purpose of this section is to ensure that prisoners who are to be released from a prison receive all their entitlements, property and information, and to ensure that all person(s) of interest have been advised of the upcoming scheduled release, but only after the rigorous checks have been completed confirming the prisoner is to be released.
Standard release criteria
- These procedures apply to all prisoners who are being released from prisons on:
- parole, or
- their statutory release date, or
- compassionate grounds, or
- Christmas early release.
R.07.01 Two month prior to release check
- Two months prior, or when notified of a prisoner's upcoming release the case officer must review the prisoner's file to check:
- the identity of prisoner
- the release date is accurate
- Complete the R.07.Form.01 Release planning checklist with names of the person(s) or organisations that are to be notified of the prisoner's up coming release.
- The Controlling Officer at the Community Probation Service Centre (closest to where the prisoner will reside) must be advised at least one week beforehand, of the prisoner's date of release, and the details and duration of release conditions
- The Police must be advised (electronically) on the release of all prisoners.
- Prisoners subject to victims notification request (through the VNR Co-ordinator)
- CP - as per the HRHP / HRX procedures.
- The case officer also completes Section A of the R.07.Form.02 Address, travel on release, and provides a copy to the prisoner to complete Section B of this form.
- Forward to unit PCO the completed R.07.Form.01 Release planning checklist and R.07.Form.02 Address, travel on release.
R.07.02 Check discharge diary
- The following staff / business units must access the "Discharge Diary" at least once a week to identify all prisoners with an upcoming release date within the next four week period:
- unit PCO(s)
- trust account clerks
- Offender Employment
- VNR coordinator
- property staff.
R.07.03 Resources for release
- The following booklets / resources are to be provided to the prisoner on release if applicable:
- Keep safe pamphlet
- Electoral pack
- You are now smoke free pamphlet
- Steps to Freedom (No. 1) (Prisoner is custody for 31 days or more)
- Steps to Freedom (No. 2) (Sentenced Prisoner served less than 31 days)
- CSO Register Information Booklet (to be provided to all Registered CSOs at every release).
R.07.04 Calculate actual release date / day
- One month from the prisoners scheduled release the unit PCO checks to see whether the schedule release / discharge date falls on any of the following non-release days.
- Non release include:
i. Thursday vi. Boxing Day xi. ANZAC Day ii. Friday vii. New Years Day xii. Sovereign's Birthday iii. Saturday viii. January 2nd xiii. Labour Day iv. Sunday ix. Waitangi Day xiv. Anniversary Day * v. Christmas Day x. Easter Monday
* Based on location of prison e.g. Wellington Anniversary day applies only to Arohata, Wellington, Manawatu, Whanganui and Rimutaka Prisons.
- Non release include:
- If the scheduled release / discharge date falls on a non-release day the actual release date will be the nearest preceding Wednesday, Tuesday or Monday.
- However, a prisoner must be released on their statutory release date regardless of whether it is a non-release day if they:
- are serving a sentence of fourteen days or less, or
- imprisoned for non-payment of fines and the fine(s) for which the warrant of commitment was issued have been paid, or
- the prisoner is not physically in the prison.
- If a prisoner is being released on parole they must be released on the date specified by the Parole Board. The Parole Board must not specify a non-release day for release.
- A prisoner must be released between 7.00am and 8.00pm except under an arrangement between the prison director and the Police, a Court Registrar or a security contractor or in exceptional circumstances.
R.07.05 Preparing Release Licence
- A release licence must be prepared for all prisoners serving a determinate sentence of imprisonment, or a sentence of imprisonment for life or preventive detention, except prisoners released from a short-term sentence, if on release, the offender is not subject to any release conditions.
- The unit PCO must identify and prepare the appropriate release licence which is dependant on the prisoner’s type and / or length of sentence and any conditions imposed.
Release Licence Use / Criteria Form a. Short-term Sentence
- Sentence of imprisonment of 12 months or less.
- Sentence of imprisonment of more than 12 months but not more than 24 months.
R.07.Form.03 b. Long-term Sentence
- Sentence of imprisonment of more 24 months, or
- Sentence of imprisonment for life, or
- Sentence of preventive detention.
R.07.Form.04 c. Compassionate Grounds
- Parole Board has directed early release on compassionate grounds.
R.07.Form.05 d. Statutory Release Date
- Prisoner is being released at the Statutory Release Date.
R.07.06 Checking Conditions of Release
- The unit PCO must check:
- Prisoners subject to a long term determinate sentence to be released on parole must have standard release conditions.
- Prisoners subject to an indeterminate sentence, the parole board must impose the standard release conditions on the offender for the rest of the offender’s life.
- The duration of any imposed special conditions must not exceed the duration of the standard conditions imposed.
- For any sentences of 24 months or less, where the Court has imposed standard and / or special conditions the period cannot exceed the sentence expiry date by more than six months.
- For sentences of more than 24 months both the standard and special parole conditions imposed can exceed the sentence expiry date by six months.
- For any sentence over twelve months and up to 24 months where the Court does not impose conditions, the prisoner is subject to standard release conditions up to the sentence expiry date.
Note: If the release conditions include a condition that the prisoner is not to possess or use an electronic communication device or a device capable of accessing the internet, the PCO must check the prisoner’s property to determine whether there are any devices that if handed to a prisoner on release, would be in breach of the condition.
If the prisoner has an electronic device in their property they must be advised in advance (using the P.10.01 Removal of prisoner property procedures) to arrange for the device to be removed from the prison as failure to do so could result in a breach of their release conditions.
- Prisoners who are released early (e.g. Christmas early release) are subject to the conditions up to their SRD, the prisoner continues to be subject to these conditions for the period specified by the parole board beginning from the SRD. Staff will need to manually modify IOMS so the start date of the conditions coincides with the SRD.
- Prisoners who are paroled but are detained in a hospital or in a secure facility under a compulsory care order, the conditions of release will not take effect until the prisoner has been discharged from that facility.
- Once the unit PCO has completed the release licence, (and after confirming the release date and code is correct) they must print three copies of the release warrant and, if applicable, attach copies of:
- the warrants
- summary of facts, and
- Judge’s sentencing notes.
- Update IOMS and forward completed file to the Receiving Office.
R.07.07 One week prior to release– Receiving Office Check
- On receipt of the file from the unit PCO the receiving office staff must:
- prepare three copies of the advice to Service Manager CP Notification of Release On Licence (R.07.Form.08 Notification on release on licence).
- Prepare 3 copies of the R.07.Form.10 Receipt for release licence.
- For all Registered CSOs prepare the R.08.Form.01 Notice of Reporting Obligations (NORO) via the Release Details screen (IOMS). For planned releases the National CSO Registry will e-mail a letter to your site Receiving Office e-mail (or your CSO Register outlook e-mail in-box which some sites have set up). Place this letter for the registered CSO on the prisoner’s file along with the other documentation. If no contact has been made by the National CSO Registry you should e-mail them requesting the letter (CSORegistry@police.govt.nz).
- Attach all documents to the prisoner’s file and forward to the prison director.
R.07.08 Prison director approval
- The prison director on receipt of the file from the receiving office must:
- confirm the prisoner's identity
- check release date and code is correct on IOMS
- approve release on IOMS
- sign front cover of the prisoner’s file
- sign all copies of the release licence (R.07.Form.03 Release licence for offender subject to short-term sentence released from prison on court-imposed conditions, R.07.Form.04 Release licence for offender subject to long-term sentence released on parole from prison, R.07.Form.05 Release licence for offender released on compassionate release, R.07.Form.06 Release licence for offender subject to long-term sentence released from prison at statutory release date) and Notification of release on licence (R.07.Form.08 Notification of release on licence), and return file to receiving office.
R.07.09 Prior to release – Receiving Office
- On receipt of the file from the prison director, receiving office staff must:
- forward a copy of the release licence (with attachments) and the copy of the Notification of release on licence to the Service Manager CP (by fax and mail)
- arrange the travel and confirm bookings
- obtain the prisoner’s trust / earnings monies and steps to freedom from the trust account clerk
- all property checked (stored and issued).
R.07.10 Release day
- The prisoner must be provided copies and explained the purpose of the:
- release licence (R.07.Form.03 Release licence for offenders subject to short-term sentence released from prison on court-imposed conditions, R.07.Form.04 Release licence for offender subject to long-term sentence released on parole from prison, R.07.Form.05 Release licence for offender released on compassionate release, R.07.Form.06 Release licence for offender subject to long-term sentence released from prison at statutory release date)
- notification to CP (R.07.Form.08 Notification of release on licence)
- Electoral pack
- Keep safe pamphlet
- You are now smoke free pamphlet
- If subject to the CSO Register the prisoner should be provided with a CSO Register Information Booklet, an IOMS generated R.08.Form.01 Notice of Reporting Obligations (NORO), and (for planned releases) a letter from the National CSO Registry (which would have been e-mailed to the Receiving Office). A copy of the signed R.08.Form.01 Notice of Reporting Obligations (NORO) should be scanned and e-mailed to the National CSO Registry, along with a confirmation that the information booklet and the letter were issued to the prisoner (CSORegister@police.govt.nz).
- Prisoner is to sign for:
- release licence (sign the R.07.Form.10 Receipt for release licence)
- steps to freedom
- trust / earnings monies
- property schedule (IOMS printed)
- R.08.Form.01 Notice of Reporting Obligations (NORO) - if the prisoner is subject to the SCO Register.
R.07.11 Post release
- Once the prisoner has been released receiving office staff must:
- advises the Muster Control once the prisoner has been released
- update prisoner's release details are entered in IOMS
- update manual register with release and address details
- Prepare and securely store prisoners file.