Legal visits

Last updated: 01 Jul 2022

We recognise the importance of access to legal support for people in our care. Prisons are now working to resume face-to-face legal visits.

Under our previous operating model, face to face visits to people in prisons were paused for all except statutory visitors. Alternatives were put in place to mitigate the pausing of visits, including phone calls and AVL.

As we work to resume face-to-face legal visits in prisons, AVL may continue to be used at some sites for longer than others.
Any significant changes will be communicated directly to the legal profession and updates will be made to our website, as required.

Process

Counsel should contact the Prisoner Contact team (prisonercontact@corrections.govt.nz) to arrange face-to-face legal visits with people in prison. All visits should be arranged through the Prisoner Contact team.

Please provide the Prisoner Contact team with as much information as possible. It must include all of the following:

  • The reasons an in-person visit is required
  • The prisoner’s name, PRN, and prison site
  • The proposed dates for visits and the length of time the lawyer believes they will require for the visit.

If approved, the team will then contact the relevant prison visitor booking area and arrange for the booking to occur. Best efforts will be made to accommodate time and date preferences; however this may not always be possible. Once the booking is made, this will be provided in writing, via email, to counsel from the Prisoner Contact team.

If declined, the Prisoner Contact team will assist counsel in making a remote booking where possible.

Cancellations

Should counsel no longer require the booking, they should advise the Prisoner Contact team as soon as practicable.
There may be instances when the prison is no longer able to accommodate the original booking. This may relate to changes in COVID-19 protocols, safety requirements, or overall prison operational requirements.

In these instances, the prison will notify the Prisoner Contact team as soon as they are aware of the need to cancel. The team will then contact counsel to advise and will assist them to make a further booking for remote access if required, or in person at a later date.

Contact details

The Prisoner Contact team can be contacted by:

Email:   prisonercontact@corrections.govt.nz
Phone:  0800 650 000