Being in prison

We aim to provide a safe, secure and humane environment for prisoners, staff and volunteers.

This section outlines what happens when prisoners are received into prison, access to personal possessions, hobbies, food, and other areas of prison life.

  • Arriving in prison

    This section explains how sentenced and remand prisoners are received into prison.

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  • Case management and offender plan

    Offenders are assigned a case manager and a case officer after they arrive at prison.

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  • Health care

    We provide primary health care to prisoners. This includes general practitioner (GP) services, nursing and basic dentistry and some disability support services.

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  • Internet and mail

    Prisoners do not have access to computers with internet capabilities so cannot use email but can send and receive postal letters.

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  • Access to money

    All people in prison have a trust account, which they can use to buy approved grocery items on a weekly basis.

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  • Hobbies

    Prisoners may require permisson from their prison manager to engage in hobbies. Permission is dependent on several factors such as security classification.

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  • Personal possessions

    Except in certain circumstances, prisoners are allowed to have a certain amount of approved items in their cells. Each prison has a list of authorised items.

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  • Weekly shopping system

    Offenders can use their trust account to buy approved grocery items once a week.

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  • Food

    Menus are developed in consultation with a qualified dietician to ensure they fit both legislation and the Ministry of Health's food and nutrition guidelines.

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  • Women in prison

    There are three women's prisons in New Zealand. Women's prisons generally have the same facilities as men's prisons but some have mothers with babies units.

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  • Christmas in prison

    Christmas can be a hard time for prisoners who are away from their friends and family. We try to mark Christmas day in an appropriate manner for prisoners.

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