Complaints and Resolutions

We care about the work we do and all the people we work with.

If you have an issue with any aspect of our work, please use the form below to submit a complaint. You can also use the form to ask a question, get advice and provide feedback.

Make a complaint

Before you use the form, check that you have:

  • Copies of any material you wish to provide about your complaint ready in electronic format.  You can post material to the Department of Corrections later if you wish.
  • Written authority to act if you are complaining on behalf of someone else, but you're not their licenced representative.

For further information about Corrections’ complaints system, and alternative ways to make a complaint, please see the sections below.

Who can complain

Anyone can make a complaint to the Department of Corrections. A complaint about a person’s sentence management can come from the person themselves, their whānau or their representative. This can be done by speaking or writing to a staff member or to someone at an outside agency.

Organisations that provide support

Community law centres

You can get free independent advice from community law centres. If you’re eligible, they may also be able to:

  • offer ongoing legal assistance
  • help you with mediation
  • represent you at tribunals or in court.

Citizens Advice Bureau

Citizens Advice Bureau offer online information about areas of law where people often have problems such as complaints, consumer issues, housing, jobs, families, and money.

Other ways to make complaints

Complaints about Community Corrections

Complaints about Community Corrections can be made in confidence to a Community Corrections staff member.

Where possible, we try to resolve complaints at the lowest appropriate level. Generally, this means probation officers are the first to receive a complaint and will attempt to resolve it informally. They may need to involve their manager or other staff.

If a complaint cannot be resolved at this level, a formal complaint can be made. A formal complaint will be passed to a community district manager. They will investigate a complaint and may involve other staff or more senior management if necessary.

A formal complaint can be made by:

  • completing and signing a Community Corrections complaints form DOC, 534.5 KB
  • sending a signed letter, or an email, to the local Community Corrections site that outlines the complaint in detail
  • talking to a community corrections staff member, who will record the complaint, ask the person to sign it and then send the complaint to the community corrections district manager.

Each Community Corrections site’s contact details are available on our locations page. You can filter the list by "Community Corrections."

Once the Community Corrections district manager receives a complaint, they will:

  • write to say that the complaint has been received
  • register the complaint in a database
  • start a fact-finding process to see if further investigation or action is needed.

The manager will keep the person who made the complaint updated as it’s dealt with and may ask for more information during the investigation.

Complaints about prisons

Complaints about prisons can be made in confidence to unit staff or directly to prison management.

Where possible, we try to resolve complaints at the lowest appropriate level. Generally, this means corrections officers are the first to receive a complaint and will attempt to resolve it informally.

If a resolution cannot be achieved at this level, a person in prison can submit a formal complaint through the PC.01 process. You can find out more about the PC.01 process.

Anyone else can make a complaint about prisons by contacting the prison’s management. You can find contact details for each prison on our location page.

Complaints about the victim notification service

Complaints about the Victim Notification Service can be made in confidence to the victim information manager. Contact details are:

Postal address:

Victim Information Manager
Department of Corrections
Private Box 1206
Wellington 6140

Email: victim.complaints@corrections.govt.nz

The Victim Information Manager will acknowledge the complaint and then refer the complaint to the service/s concerned for investigation.

This complaints process is for people who are registered on the Victims Notification Register (VNR). If you are not registered on the VNR but would like to make a complaint, please email the Office of the Inspectorate at inspectorate@corrections.govt.nz.

Complaints about official and personal information

Complaints about official and personal information can be made in confidence to the Ministerial Services team. If you have any concerns about how we have handled your request for official or personal information, please contact us in the first instance.

Your concerns may relate to us:

  • declining your request for information
  • breaching a statutory timeframe
  • extending a timeframe
  • charging you for information
  • putting conditions on the release of information.

You can contact us via email to info@corrections.govt.nz or by post to:

Ministerial Services
Department of Corrections
PO Box 1206
Wellington 6140

Read more about our official information policy and procedures, and our privacy policy.

Complaints about unwanted mail

We take all complaints and enquiries about unwanted prison mail very seriously.

You can call 0800 345 006 or email mailcomplaints@corrections.govt.nz if you have an enquiry or complaint about unwanted prison mail. You can also complete the online complaint form on this page, that will be delivered to the same email. Completing the online form will ensure you record all information we need to process your enquiry quickly.

The email and 0800 line are staffed weekdays only. Voice messages can be left after hours and staff will respond.

How to elevate complaints

Complaints can also be taken directly to an Inspector of Corrections from the Office of the Inspectorate, whose job it is to deal with complaints about Corrections.

Complaints are only made directly to Inspectors, without first going through a Corrections staff member, if there are compelling reasons why it’s not reasonable, practical or safe to tell a frontline staff member first.

If a complaint cannot be resolved through the Office of the Inspectorate, you can also elevate the matter to the following external monitoring entities: