The Corrections independent Inspectorate has released its report on Tongariro Prison, and determined that the prison was operating well, treating prisoners with respect and had low levels of violence and intimidation.
This report follows closely on a report from the Ombudsman on the same prison that came to similar conclusions.
Corrections’ Chief Custodial Officer Neil Beales says that to have two independent bodies determine the prison is well run is a credit to staff and to the policies and processes that have been put in place.
“The Ombudsman said that the prison could be considered a centre of excellence in terms of establishing and embedding Corrections’ values. This has been backed up by the Inspectorate who assessed the general environment of the prison was excellent and levels of violence and intimidation were low,” said Mr Beales.
The Inspectorate also found there was a positive relationship between staff and prisoners and prisoners were well occupied with a range of constructive and recreational activities.
Mr Beales said that some of the Inspectorate’s finding that the facilities at Tongariro are ageing and in need of remedial work are being addressed.
“Tongariro is one of five prisons throughout the country that is in the process of having new modular accommodation units installed,” said Mr Beales.
“A new 122 bed facility is due for completion at Tongariro by the end of this year. Each unit consists of 60 double-bunked cells, and other spaces for prisoner and staff activities including laundry rooms and office areas. The units are manufactured from high quality components that meet New Zealand building code standards.”
“When they are completed, this will improve conditions at the prison for both staff and prisoners,” said Mr Beales.
“We are pleased with the findings of the Inspectorate. Our staff come to work every day to keep people safe and turn lives around. This report indicates that staff at Corrections and, in particular Tongariro Prison, are making a strong and lasting impression.”
Read the media release from the Office of the Inspectorate along with the full inspection reports on their website.