Report of the Inquiry into the prisoner riot at Spring Hill Corrections Facility in 2013

Read the full Report of the Inquiry into the prisoner riot at Spring Hill Corrections Facility on 1 June 2013 PDF, 408.3 KB.


The riot that occurred at Spring Hill Corrections Facility on 1 June 2013 was the largest and most destructive incident of concerted indiscipline experienced in New Zealand.

prisons in almost 15 years. This was a significant and traumatic incident for the Department and specifically for all who were directly involved. The inquiry team acknowledge the impact this event has had on a number of individuals.

This Inquiry was set up to establish the reasons and causes of the riot and how it was managed. It was carried out by a team led by the Chief Custodial Officer and included representatives of the Chief Custodial Officer’s team, the Inspectorate, Corrections Services and the New South Wales Department of Corrections. Assistance was also provided from the Policy team in Service Development and we received advice from an external expert in health and safety for which we are very grateful.

The Inquiry team’s experience has enabled us to compare the response and post incident actions with similar incidents from other jurisdictions. Any incident of this nature, particularly one involving such extensive damage and destruction, will require a whole of Department approach and careful management and consideration in the return to business as usual. It is not unknown for the recovery of such incidents to become a protracted affair and this in turn can lead to related problems for the Department and further affect the morale of staff. The Inquiry team therefore commend the swift actions taken by the Department in regards to the recovery of Spring Hill and the support of the staff that were involved.

Finally the team would like to acknowledge the full cooperation provided by the staff and management team of Spring Hill Corrections Facility and Central Region, as well as the staff who had involvement with this incident from outside the establishment and region, including the Emergency Services.

Neil Beales
Chief Custodial Officer
Department of Corrections

March 2014