When Someone Goes to Prison brochure

When Someone Goes to Prison is one of nine brochures we have produced that help tell our story.  Printed copies are available from our probation sites and prison visits centres.

Download the When Someone Goes to Prison (PDF 1.1MB)

nullBeing sent to prison

Only the Court can put someone in prison.

If a person is remanded in custody, they will usually go directly to the prison closest to the court where their case is being handled. If they are sentenced to imprisonment, Corrections decides which prison they will serve their sentence in.

Prisoners may be moved to other prisons where we can offer the most appropriate rehabilitation or treatment options. Corrections also has to move prisoners to manage the muster (prison population) safely and effectively.

New prisoners are entitled to make one phone call within 24 hours of their arrival but the timing of their call depends on when they arrive at prison.

What you can (and can’t) supply

Sometimes you will know beforehand that someone is going to prison from court.

It’s a good idea to come prepared just in case. You can give a prisoner some items, including medication, toiletries, money for their prison account*, and phone cards.

Corrections staff will remove anything illegal or banned in prison including cellphones, drugs, gang stuff, alcohol and cigarettes.

Limits on belongings

Prisoners can have only limited belongings in their cells. It is best to check with the prison before you visit if you plan to bring a prisoner more property in case the items are not approved.

Keeping people safe

Every new prisoner is assessed to check if they are unwell, have health issues that need managing, and if they are at risk of harming themselves or others.

If you have concerns about a prisoner’s wellbeing at any time you should talk to a Corrections staff member or call the prison directly so we can take steps to keep them safe.

No news is good news

If something serious happens to a prisoner, next of kin are quickly notified. This includes if a prisoner is admitted to hospital or a mental health facility.

* Prisoners can't carry cash but they can have money in a trust account to buy approved items. People outside prison can also put money into a prisoner's account.

Where are they? How do I contact them?

For privacy reasons, we are careful about information we provide about prisoners.

If you have someone taken to prison from court, Corrections staff will be able to tell you where they are going. Later, if you want to confirm whether a person is in prison, there is a process to follow.

If the person you ask about is in prison, we ask them for their consent to tell you where they are. If they agree, we will tell you which prison and how to get in touch with them.
If the person is not in prison, or does not give us permission to tell you, then we are unable to give any information.

Find out more on our website or talk to one of our staff at court. Queries should be made in writing and sent to Department of Corrections National Office, Private Box 1206 Wellington 140 New Zealand or email info@corrections.govt.nz.

Visiting prison

Each prison has its own visiting arrangements. But the rules about what you can take into prison are the same everywhere.

You can phone the prison before you visit to ask any questions you have.

Remember – all visitors including children will have to go through security checks and can be searched once on prison property. Take care to comply with the rules or you may be banned from visiting in future.

To see a prisoner you have to be an approved visitor. If a prisoner wants you to be allowed to visit them they can send you a form to fill out. You can read more about the process on our website www.corrections.govt.nz

Contact numbers

Prisons and Corrections Facilities are different names for the same thing. Facilities tend to be newer with different types of buildings, but the management of prisoners is largely the same.
Northland Region Corrections Facility (Ngawha)09 401 5800
Auckland Prison04 442 6600
Mt Eden Corrections Facility (Serco)09 638 1700
Auckland Region Women's Corrections Facility09 250 9400
Spring Hill Corrections Facility07 826 0200
Waikeria Prison07 872 6700
Tongariro/Rangipô Prison07 384 7400
Whanganui Prison06 349 6800
Hawke's Bay Regional Prison06 872 8000
Manawatu Prison06 355 9300
Rimutaka Prison04 529 0800
Arohata Prison04 231 3000
Christchurch Men's Prison03 345 6400
Christchurch Women's Prison03 345 6400
Rolleston Prison03 345 6400
Otago Corrections Facility03 417 9300
Invercargill Prison03 211 3400