M.03.01 Under 20 years old male prisoners

The purpose of youth units is to provide a safe and secure developmental environment for youth and vulnerable male prisoners. To reduce re-offending amongst this group by providing access to a range of educational, vocational, psychological and recreational activities in a structured and supportive environment which is normalised as much as is possible in a prison setting.

M.03.01.01 Youth unit entry criteria

  1. The following (remand and sentenced) categories of prisoners are approved to be placed in a youth unit:
    1. Youth – Correction Act Placements (CAP): prisoners aged 14 and 16 to years old.
    2. Youth: prisoners 17 years of age are automatically placed in youth units
    3. Vulnerable Young Adults: prisoners aged 18 and 19 years of age and assessed as suitable (by the Test of Best Interests for Men (TBI)) for placement in a youth unit.
  2. Youths and vulnerable young adults who are actively “at risk” of self harm will be placed in the Intervention and Support Unit (ISU) and not a youth unit.
  3. The officer receiving the prisoner must check all IOMS Alerts, Current and Historical as well as other services by clicking on the All button under service.

    M.03.01 Prisoner Alerts
  4. IOMS alerts must be entered, amended and removed as and when circumstances require. These alerts must be checked (as agreed) by a Youth Unit PCO.

    Alert type Comments box
    Youth Youth Unit Placement or CAP Placement
    Vulnerable Young Adult TBI = Youth Unit Placement OR
    PYVS = 15 Youth Unit Placement
    Under 20 TBI = Non Youth Unit Placement TBI not to be re-administered OR
    PYVS = 10 TBI to be re-administered.

M.03.01.02 Youth – Correction Act placements

  1. The Department of Corrections Principal Advisor, Youth in National Office will advise the reception/movements manager when:
    1. a young offender has entered guilty pleas and a conviction has been recorded, and
    2. a Youth Court Judge has declined jurisdiction (this is an indication that the young offender is likely to receive a custodial sentence), and
    3. the sentencing is scheduled in the District or High Court.
  2. The reception/movements manager will arrange for escort staff to attend the young offender’s sentencing event.
  3. After a conviction is entered but prior to the young offender’s sentencing a departmental psychologist (or other approved Corrections employee) in conjunction with a representative from Child, Youth and Family (CYF) will complete an initial Corrections Act Placement Assessment (CAPA) and complete M.03.01.Form.04 CYF placement approval.
  4. If the young offender is sentenced to a term of imprisonment escort staff will be advised at the Court by the Principal Advisor, Youth or the senior advisor to regional commissioner where the offender is to begin serving their sentence. The young offender will be directed to be placed at either:
    1. a Correction’s designated youth unit, or
    2. a Child Youth and Family’s Korowai Manaaki Youth Justice Residence in Auckland.
      Note: This is the only CYF residence with approved Corrections Act Beds.
  5. If the young offender is required to serve the initial part (or all of their) sentence at the CYF Youth Justice Residence at Auckland, it is not desirable for offender to spend any time in a prison. If the young offender cannot be taken to Auckland directly, enquires should be made with the NZ Police to determine if the youth can be detained at a Police Station, pending their transfer to Auckland.
  6. If the young offender is not sentenced (i.e. sentencing is adjourned) they remain the responsibility CYF or a non-custodial sentence is imposed, Corrections escort staff must not take custody of them.
  7. Where approval has been given (as recorded in M.03.01.Form.04 CYC placement approval) for a young offender to serve all or part of their sentence of imprisonment within a CYF Youth Justice Residence, they remain in the legal custody of the relevant prison’s prison director.
  8. The day-to-day control and management of the young offender while in a residence rests with the manager of the residence in consultation with the relevant prison director of the prison from which the prisoner has been transferred.
  9. To give effect to this, a joint case management meeting must be convened as soon as possible but within five working days following the young offender’s admission to the residence. Central to the process of joint case management will be the preparation of a sentence management. The Agreement will include the following:
    1. the calculation and review of the young offender’s parole eligibility date and / or final release date
    2. the calculation and review of the young prisoner’s security classification
    3. the calculation and administration of the young prisoner’s temporary release entitlements
    4. the administration of the young prisoner’s pre-release and post-release requirements
    5. the administration of any disciplinary procedures in relation to the young prisoner.
  10. If the youth unit PCO or residential manager have concerns relating to placement in the youth unit, or CYF advised of concern with the offender’s placement in their residence, they must immediately advise the Principal Advisor, Youth who will arrange a review of the CAPA.

M.03.01.03 Assessment and placement of vulnerable young adults in youth unit

  1. The purpose of a Test of Best Interest for men assessment (TBI) is to determine whether placing an 18 or 19 year old in a youth unit would be contrary to the best interests of youth prisoners placed in a youth unit by virtue of their age.
  2. The M.03.01.Form.02 Test of best interests - Revised (TBI-R) is to be completed (by trained staff) on all 18 and 19 year old prisoners:
    1. received at the prison within 72 hours of arrival, or
    2. on transfer, and only if a completed TBI is not on the prisoner’s file.
  3. If the TBI assessment identifies the prisoner as a Vulnerable Young Adults:
    1. the placement of a prisoner must be approved by the National Commissioner.
    2. the “Vulnerable Young Adult” IOMS alerts must be recorded in IOMS.
    3. If the youth unit is operating at full capacity and unable to receive a new arrival or accept a transfer of a youth or vulnerable young adult. The unit PCO must assess each prisoner against the following transferability priority criteria and make a recommendation to the Prisoner Movement Coordinator on which prisoners are suitable to be transferred.

      Rating Youth Unit Category
      1 Youth – CAP from the same region (convicted and accused)
      2 Youth – CAP from outside the region (convicted and accused)
      3 Youth – (17 years old) from the same region (convicted and accused)
      4 Youth – (17 years old) from outside the region (convicted and accused)
      5 Vulnerable young adults from the same region (accused)
      6 Vulnerable young adults from outside the region

      Note: The lower the rating the less suitable the prisoner is for transfer.
  4. The youth unit PCO will determine who is accepted into the youth unit. However, a referral can be made to the regional commissioner by the youth unit PCO to consider a TBI placement override.
    Note: The override may affect the youth’s placement and therefore the regional commissioner will need to consider whether the referral is to form part of the “mixing” decision.
  5. Admission to a youth unit for a prisoner from another region requires the approval of both the prison director and the youth unit PCO.
  6. Prisoners placed within a youth unit must be managed as per the requirements set out in M.03.01.Res.01 Youth unit structured day.

M.03.01.04 Review of TBI outcome

  1. A TBI outcome must be reviewed whenever one of the following occurs:
    1. a prisoner turns 19 years of age in a youth unit – review question 3.1.6
    2. a remand prisoner is sentenced – review question 3.3.6
    3. a 18 or 19 year old in a youth unit is involved in an incident – review section 1
    4. the wellbeing needs of a 18 or 19 year old in a youth unit change – review sections 2, 3, and 4, or
    5. a 18 or 19 year old prisoner not in a youth unit with no assessed risk to others involved in a self-harm incident.
      Note: There is no need to administer or review a TBI following an inter-prison or Court transfer as the previous TBI remains active. The only exception is if an incident occurs during the transfer.
  2. If excluded from a youth unit placement based on section three – vulnerability scale, because the prisoner has a PYVS score lower than 12, then the TBI must be re-administered.
    Note: If the vulnerability score is 11 and the prisoner is not a risk to others, then a senior advisor to regional commissioner can override the vulnerability score and place the prisoner in a youth unit.

M.03.01.05 Under 20 year old prisoners not suitable to be placed in youth unit

  1. If a prisoner under 20 years old is excluded from a youth unit placement due to risk to others (section one – risk to others) there is no requirement to complete the TBI, unless the prisoner is:
    1. at-risk of self harm (indicates prisoner may be highly vulnerable), or
    2. a remand accused and has subsequently been found not guilty of that charge(s) or the charge(s) no longer applies.
  2. If the TBI assessment excludes an 18 or 19 year old from a youth unit placement, and it is not to be reviewed then:
    1. the prisoner is to be managed as an adult prisoner and placed in an appropriate unit appropriate to their sentence plan, considering the information obtained from the TBI assessment, their file review and M.05 Prisoners at risk of self harm assessment.
    2. the “Under 20” IOMS alerts must be recorded in IOMS.
  3. Prisoners placed within a youth unit must be managed as per the requirements set out in M.03.01.Res.01 Youth unit structured day.

M.03.01.06 Sites without youth units

  1. A youth prisoner must be transferred to a youth unit within 72 hours of reception and a vulnerable young adult within 7 days of reception, unless there is a justifiable reason why the youth or vulnerable adult prisoners should remain at the prison. In such cases, the prison director (or authorised delegate) must approve the extension.
  2. Prior to being transferred youth or vulnerable adult prisoners must be placed in approved designated unit(s) as per the Operating Policy for the Placement and Management of Youth and Vulnerable Young Adult Prisoners at the prisons without a designated youth unit.

M.03.01.07 Prisoner exit from a youth unit

  1. The processes for a prisoner to be transferred or removed from youth units occurs:
    1. when a review youth (CAPA) prisoner’s (aged 14 to 16) placement requires the prisoner to be transferred to a Child Youth and Family facility, or
    2. when the Regional Commissioner grants a specific exemption on a youth prisoner following a written application for expulsion, or
    3. when a TBI is administered on a prisoner 10-14 days prior to their 18th birthday and the final decision is for placement outside a youth unit, or
    4. when a TBI is administered or reviewed on a vulnerable young adult and the final decision is for placement outside a youth unit, or
    5. when a vulnerable young adult turns 20 years of age.
  2. The sentence management process determines which unit the prisoner should be transferred to. The transfers must take into account any programme the prisoner is involved in, and to allow completion of these programmes where possible.
  3. Before transferring the prisoner the youth unit PCO must discuss with the receiving unit PCO any concerns relating to the prisoner. The transfer or exit process is the same as for mainstream adult prisoners.
    Note: Units are not able to expel prisoners as a punishment for bad behaviour or IDU status. A prisoner under 18 years of age can only be ‘expelled’ from the youth unit following a successful application for expulsion to the Regional Commissioner.