M.03.02 Wāhine / women and pregnant prisoners

Wāhine / women prisoners are accommodated in secure facilities separate from male prisoners and are managed independently of male prisoners.

Decisions made about imprisoned wāhine / women must consider their unique needs and acknowledge their family / whānau circumstances as well as their cultural and personal histories.

Wāhine / women in prison who are pregnant and/or in labour require special consideration when arranging temporary removal or when transferring to give birth. This includes consideration of the type of vehicle.

The health and wellbeing of the pēpi / baby must also be taken into consideration when planning temporary removals.

Pregnant wāhine / women have the right to apply to the New Zealand Parole Board for early release on compassionate grounds (see M.03.02.Form.08 Early Release on compassionate grounds giving birth).

Watch Point

Mechanical restraints will not to be used on wāhine / women who are 30+ weeks pregnant, are in labour, or remain in hospital with their pēpi / baby after giving birth.

M.03.02.01 Prisoners aged between 14 and 17 years of age

  1. The Prison Population Advisor, Youth in National Office will advise the reception/movements manager when:
    1. a young person 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 person 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 person’s sentencing event.
  3. After a conviction is entered but prior to the young person’s sentencing a departmental psychologist (or other approved Corrections employee) in conjunction with a representative from Oranga Tamariki - Ministry for Children will complete an initial Young Person Placement Assessment (YPPA).
  4. If the young person is sentenced to a term of imprisonment escort staff will be advised at the Court by the Prison Population Advisor, Youth or the senior advisor to regional commissioner where the young person is to begin serving their sentence. The young person will be directed to be placed at either:
    1. a designated woman’s prison or corrections facility, or
    2. a Oranga Tamariki Youth Justice Residence.
  5. If the young person is required to serve the initial part (or all of their) sentence at a Youth Justice Residence, it is not desirable for a young person to spend any time in a prison. If the young person cannot be taken directly to a Youth Justice Residence, enquires should be made with the NZ Police to determine if the young person can be detained at a Police Station, pending their transfer to a Youth Justice Residence.
  6. If the young person is not sentenced (i.e. sentencing is adjourned) as they remain the responsibility of Oranga Tamariki or a non-custodial sentence is imposed, Corrections escort staff must not take custody of them.
  7. Where approval has been given for a young person to serve all or part of their sentence of imprisonment within a 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 person while in a residence rests with the manager of the residence in consultation with the relevant prison's prison director.
  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 persons 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 person’s parole eligibility date and/or final release date
    2. the calculation and review of the young person’s security classification
    3. the calculation and administration of the young person’s temporary release entitlements
    4. the administration of the young person’s pre-release and post-release requirements
    5. the administration of any disciplinary procedures in relation to the young person.
  10. If a residential manager has concerns relating to the placement of a young person in a woman’s prison / corrections facility, or Oranga Tamariki advised of concern with the young person’s placement in their residence, they must immediately advise the Prison Population Advisor, Youth who will arrange a review of the YPPA.

M.03.02.02 Under 18 years old prisoners

  1. A female checklist (M.03.02.Form.01 Application to mix under 18 with adult prisoner) must be completed on all female prisoners under the age of 18 years (young person), to determine if it is in their best interests to be mixed with female prisoners aged 18 years and over (adults).
  2. The female checklist (M.03.02.Form.01 Application to mix under 18 with adult prisoner) must be completed within 72 hours of the prisoner being received into prison for the first time. Placement should be reviewed when circumstances require i.e. after an incident or following an inter prison transfer.
  3. The principal corrections officer must:
    1. Complete the M.03.02.Form.01 Application to mix under 18 with adult prisoner and make a placement recommendation to the regional commissioner.
    2. Provide documentation i.e. IOMS reports and sentencing documentation to the regional commissioner to support the placement recommendation.
    3. Ensure the regional commissioner signs the female checklist indicating final placement decision.
    4. Place YOUNG PERSON alert type on IOMS with one of the following comments:
      1. approval to mix with adults while inside a prison; or
      2. to be kept separate from adults while inside a prison.
  4. Place the original copy of the female checklist on the prisoner’s file.

Note: Where young women are required to be transported to court, hospital or other external facility, they must be kept physically separate from female adults, even if approval has been given to mix while inside a prison.

M.03.02.03 Pregnant wāhine / women

  1. Pregnant wāhine / women must be managed in a sensitive manner which considers their needs and risks while optimising the well-being of the pēpi / baby.
    Consideration

    Staff are to refer to resource M.03.02.Res.14 Warning signs and symptoms for staff managing pregnant wāhine / women to raise staff awareness of what to look for and when Health Services must be advised regarding their health and wellbeing.

  2. Wāhine / women must be enabled to meet their cultural, religious and spiritual customs, practices and beliefs relating to pregnancy, birthing and babies while considering safety and security. This will be recorded in the Birth Support Plan.
    Consideration

    Examples of cultural practices are:

    1. Karakia – Incantations that give guidance, instructions within a kaupapa Māori context.
    2. Oriori – Curriculum of learning specifically for unborn and new-born taonga / treasure. Sung in a succinct, particular way.
    3. Mirimiri – The act of massaging the body to realign and give balance to the inner self.
    4. Waiata – Literally means a reflection within the water that describes and speaks of what is seen by the naked eye and is expressed as song.
    5. Kiri Pātahi – The act of a person’s skin coming in contact with another (skin to skin).
    6. Whenua – That place where humankind comes from Connection to the land is the key e.g. mana whenua, tangata whenua, Papatuanuku (Mother Earth.) Both placenta and the land are referred to as whenua.

    Please note that different iwi / cultures may have different interpretations or practices to the above examples. Staff should seek cultural advice as required.

  3. Wāhine / women can care for their young pēpi / baby up to 24 months of age in prison if certain criteria, as outlined in M.03.02.08 Children in prisons application assessment, are met and the management and security of the prison is maintained.
  4. The unit Principal Corrections Officer (PCO) must explain to pregnant wāhine / women their right to apply to the NZPB for an early release on compassionate grounds and provide a copy of M.03.02.Form.08 Early release on compassionate grounds giving birth, within 72 hours of the time they are made aware of the pregnancy. A case note confirming the conversation and supply of the M.03.02.Form.08 Early release on compassionate grounds giving birth to the wāhine / woman, and her response, is to be made in IOMS.
Watch Point

Medical diets apply to pregnant and breastfeeding wāhine (women).

Please refer to F.01.Res.01 Catering.

M.03.02.04 Prison services standards

  1. Pregnant prisoners are placed in accommodation, which provides unrestricted access to a flush toilet and hand washing facilities.
  2. Where necessary the prison provides suitable maternity attire for the prisoner.
  3. Where necessary the prison provides a layette for a child born to a female prisoner including a night-gown, a singlet, a pair of booties, a helmet / bonnet, two nappies, safety pins where necessary, and a shawl or blanket.
  4. Pregnant prisoners are encouraged to participate in antenatal and parenting programmes at the appropriate time and supported through their offender plan.
  5. Pregnant prisoners are provided with suitable employment and recreation, which ensures a balance of rest and participation in constructive activities.
  6. Pregnant prisoners are offered information as early as possible on release options, which may be applicable to them and their right to seek legal advice on such options. (See M.03.02.Form.08 Early release on compassionate grounds giving birth.)

M.03.02.05 Support persons

  1. A Birth Support Plan will be developed by the pregnant wahine / woman with the support of the Social Worker and/or Case Manager. The Birth Support Plan will:
    1. identify support people to include in decision making and activities relating to pregnancy
    2. identify support people for labour and birth and approved visitors after birth
    3. identify any cultural, religious, and spiritual customs, practices and beliefs
    4. identify the period that the plan is relevant for
    5. be considered and approved by the prison director
    6. will be carried on escort.
  2. Ideally, a Corrections Officer (CO) / staff member will not be the support person for a wahine / woman. However, in exceptional circumstances (such as not having a support person available, support person / people unable to get to hospital in time) this may be requested. The wahine / woman must sign a M.03.02 Form.03 Consent for CO presence during medical examination in these situations.
  3. A pregnant or labouring wahine / woman may withdraw her request / consent to have a CO as a support person once at the medical facility / hospital. Alternatively, she may request that the CO remain as a support person for the appointment / labour and/or birth. The CO must record this in their notebook and request that medical personnel also note this in their records.
Consideration

Where the support person resides in the community decisions on requests for support person attendance at a wahine / woman’s maternity appointments, labour and birth will be made by the prison director.

Watch Point

Where the support person resides in prison applications for support person attendance at a wahine / woman’s maternity appointments, labour and birth are subject to temporary release or temporary removal criteria.

Decisions on applications will be made by the prison director of the prison the support person resides at.

collaboration

Where the support person is a person residing at another prison the prison directors from both prisons should consult and work together to ensure decisions regarding support attendance are not made in isolation.

M.03.02.06 Temporary removals for wāhine / women up to 30 weeks pregnant

  1. All pregnant wāhine / women who are being escorted on temporary removals are subject to the conditions of POM M.04.05 Temporary removals.
  2. At least one of the escorting officers must be also be a wahine / woman.
  3. Escorting staff are not to remain in the hospital room unless:
    1. the wahine / woman has specified this in her Birth Support Plan; or
    2. the wahine / woman has requested that they remain; or
    3. health professionals have requested that they remain; or
    4. the risk of escape or other identified risk is unacceptably high.
      In this instance, the prison director will have authorised the escorting staff to remain in the room which will be clearly stated on the M.04.01.For.01 Instructions for Escort.
    Consideration

    CO’s / staff member’s will not generally be a support person for a wāhine / woman.

    In exceptional circumstances, a wāhine / woman may request CO support through signing M.03.02 Form.03 Consent for CO presence during medical examination. (Refer M.03.02.05 Support person).

    Consent to have a CO as a support person can be withdrawn at any time. Alternatively, she may request the CO remain as a support person for the appointment / labour and/or birth.

    The CO must record this in their notebook and request that medical personnel also note this in their records.

  4. Any identified risk while in the hospital can be minimised using the current risk assessment process.
  5. If the health professional requests the removal of all mechanical restraints (where restraints are identified for escort) during the examination, and prior approval has not already been provided and detailed in the M.04.01 Form.01 Instructions for Escort, the escorting officers must contact site and seek approval from the Principal Corrections Officer (PCO) or manager. In an emergency prior approval is not required.
  6. If during the escorted appointment a pregnant wahine / women is diagnosed to be in labour by a health professional, mechanical restraints must be removed. Prior approval to do this can be noted on the M.04.01.Form.01 Instructions for Escort. If prior approval has not been given to remove restraints, staff must advise the PCO or manager.
  7. Staff must leave the room following a security check of the area and maintain constant observation of all exits from outside the room. If security concerns are noted the escort IC must notify the PCO or manager and seek advice.

M.03.02.07 Temporary removals for wāhine / women 30+ weeks pregnant, in labour, giving birth or post partum (before return to prison)

  1. All pregnant wāhine / women who are being escorted on temporary removal are subject to the conditions of POM M.04.05 Temporary removals.
  2. All wāhine / women in labour will be escorted by wāhine / women custodial staff except under exceptional circumstances.
    Watch Point

    Advice from the midwife or other health professional must be considered by the prison director in making the decision to approve the temporary removal to hospital for labour and birth.

    Her partner/ support person(s) / whānau will be advised as per the Birthing Support Plan.

  3. Mechanical restraints will not be used on wāhine / women on escort who are 30+ weeks pregnant, are in labour, or remain in hospital with their pēpi / baby after giving birth. This must be identified on the escort instruction.
  4. Should a risk of escape or another risk be identified, the risks must be managed by the approving officer using steps other than mechanical restraints and recorded on the M.04.01.Form.01 Instructions for Escort.
    Watch Point

    The approving officer is to undertake a risk management approach which will inform (but not be limited to):

    • The number of escorting staff (additional staff required for higher risk)
    • The experience of staff on escort
    • The management of visitors
    • The mode of transport (for example ambulance, car, or alternative vehicle)
    • A multi-disciplinary approach
    • Any oversight and/or visit to hospital by a senior manager.
    Watch Point

    On the day of temporary removal escorting staff are to:

    • Check rooms upon arrival at hospital to ensure all exit points from room are covered
    • Position themselves outside the door of the labouring / birthing room.
  5. Escorting staff are not to remain in the hospital room unless:
    1. the wahine / woman has specified this in her Birth Support Plan; or
    2. the wahine / woman has requested that they remain; or
    3. health professionals have requested that they remain; or
    4. the risk of escape or other identified risk is unacceptably high and cannot be managed in a less restrictive way.
      In this instance, the prison director will have authorised staff to remain in the room which will be clearly stated on the M.04.01.Form.01 Instructions for Escort.
    Consideration

    CO’s / staff member’s will not generally be a support person for a wāhine / woman.

    In exceptional circumstances, a wāhine / woman may request CO support through signing M.03.02 Form.03 Consent for CO presence during medical examination. (Refer M.03.02.05 Support person).

    Consent to have a CO as a support person can be withdrawn at any time. Alternatively, she may request the CO remain as a support person for the appointment / labour and/or birth.

    The CO must record this in their notebook and request that medical personnel also note this in their records.

  6. Wāhine / women will be supported to observe their cultural, religious, and spiritual, customs, practices and beliefs during labour and after birth provided there is no risk of escape or other identified risk.
    Consideration

    Examples of cultural practices are:

    1. Karakia – Incantations that give guidance, instructions within a kaupapa Māori context.
    2. Oriori – Curriculum of learning specifically for unborn and new-born taonga / treasure. Sung in a succinct, particular way.
    3. Mirimiri – The act of massaging the body to realign and give balance to the inner self.
    4. Waiata – Literally means a reflection within the water that describes and speaks of what is seen by the naked eye and is expressed as song.
    5. Kiri Pātahi – The act of a person’s skin coming in contact with another (skin to skin).
    6. Whenua – That place where humankind comes from Connection to the land is the key e.g. mana whenua, tangata whenua, Papatuanuku (Mother Earth.) Both placenta and the land are referred to as whenua.

    Please note that different iwi / cultures may have different interpretations or practices to the above examples. Staff should seek cultural advice as required.

M.03.02.08 Children in prisons application assessment

  1. Applications to have a child reside with the prisoner mother in a self-care unit or brought into the prison for the purposes of feeding and bonding must be made to the prison director.
  2. Any woman in prison who is pregnant or is the mother of a child under the age of 24 months can request to keep her child with her until the day the child turns 24 months old if she:
    1. was the child’s primary caregiver before being imprisoned or is likely to be the child’s primary caregiver on release; and
    2. does not have a conviction for an offence involving sexual or violent offending against children; and
    3. agrees to undergo screening for the purpose of identifying any mental health and substance abuse issues.
  3. The prison director is responsible for determining the application and must ensure a comprehensive report(s) is developed by appropriate staff, such as the social worker.
  4. The prison director may approve the request if they consider that placing the child with the mother is in the best interests of the child and is not inconsistent with any court order relating to the child, or any application or proceeding currently before the courts.
  5. The mother is required to enter into a parenting agreement under section 81B of the Corrections Act 2004 with the chief executive, (authority delegated to the prison director) in relation to the child’s placement.
  6. The prison director must be satisfied that there are appropriate facilities available to accommodate the child’s placement.
  7. Consideration must be given to section 5 of the Care of Children Act 2004, which outlines the principles in relation to a child’s welfare and best interests.
  8. The prison director must consult with the chief executive of Oranga Tamariki before deciding whether to approve a child’s placement (see subsection 81A(4)(a) of the Corrections Act 2004).
  9. The prison director must seek the advice of a child development specialist before deciding whether to approve or end a child’s placement, unless it is clear from the circumstances that it is not necessary to seek that advice (see subsection 81A(4)(b) of the Corrections Act 2004).
  10. The prison director may approve the emergency reception of a baby into prison following a check by the statutory child protection agency and pending the consideration of the formal application.
  11. Consideration must be given to section 6(1)(a) of the Corrections Act 2004 which states “the maintenance of public safety is the paramount consideration in decisions about the management of persons under control or supervision”.
  12. If the decision of the prison director is not to approve the woman’s application (or a request for an emergency reception) to have her child reside in prison or attend the feeding and bonding facility:
    1. this decision must be conveyed to the woman in writing with a full explanation
    2. arrangements must be made for the child to be handed to the agreed alternative caregiver, and/or
    3. notification must be made to the child protection agency.
  13. The relevant decision form (M.03.03.Form.03 Decision for use of feeding and bonding facilities or M.03.04.Form.03 Decision for fulltime care of a child in a self-care unit) is given to the woman and must give reasons for the decision, make clear whether the decision is open to review and if so, when the woman may apply again, and include consideration of a separation plan if the woman is pregnant.
  14. A request to review the decision can be made by the woman to the Chief Executive using the Complaint process within 14 days of the original decision after the woman has been informed in writing. The prison director must inform the senior advisor to regional commissioner within 1 working day and the senior advisor to regional commissioner must see the woman within 7 working days. The Chief Executive must reconsider the decision against the relevant criteria set out in section 81A of the Corrections Act 2004 but is not required to repeat the steps set out in section 81A (4). The decision is not suspended while it is being considered.
    1. The Chief Executive may do the following:
      1. Affirm it
      2. Amend it
      3. Rescind it and substitute a different decision.
    2. The Chief Executive must:
      1. provide the reasons for the outcome under section 81A subsection (5) of the Corrections Act 2004; and
      2. notify the women in writing of the outcome.

M.03.02.09 Management of prisoner with resident children general standards

  1. Prisoners will follow normal prison routine as far as possible to do so.
  2. The prisoners will be allowed access, where practicable, to a range of social outlets, work and recreational activities, consistent with that available to other prisoners in the prison and according to her offender plan.
  3. The prison director / residential manager shall use his / her best endeavours to ensure that methods used by staff in managing prisoners with babies is appropriate, and this may facilitate extra training where necessary.
  4. The movement of the child outside of the prison for the purpose of contact with relatives or friends will be approved, if:
    1. it is able to be facilitated by the prison
    2. the prisoner consents
    3. the caregiver (responsible for caring for the child during the child’s absence from the prison) has been approved by the prison director as a alternative caregiver, in that the caregiver:
      1. has been reviewed by Oranga Tamariki (i.e. no Oranga Tamariki alerts), and
      2. is an approved visitor to the prison
    4. the caregiver has agreed to and signed M.03.02.Form.07 Responsibilities of approved caregiver to the child during approved outing on each occasion they uplift the baby.
  5. If prison staff have any concerns with how the child was treated or whether the caregiver complied with their agreed responsibilities during the approved outing, they must:
    1. discuss their concerns with the prisoner
    2. consider whether the caregiver should remain as an approved alternative caregiver.
  6. If the prison director decides that the caregiver is no longer approved, the prisoner must be given the opportunity to nominate another alternative caregiver.
  7. Prisoners will be responsible for the routines to meet the individual demands of the child. Prisoners must however, be dressed and prepared for daily activity in accordance with their offender plan.
  8. Prisoners will be responsible for the tidiness and cleanliness of their accommodation or the feeding and bonding facility. In addition they will carry out such tasks as may be designated by the unit PCO.
  9. In general, a prisoner is responsible for the preparation of meals for herself and her child whist in a self-care unit.
  10. Prisoners using a feeding and bonding facility will be supplied meals from the prison kitchen if required.
  11. The prisoner is responsible for the provision of food items including formula at her cost when the child is weaned or is being bottle-fed.

M.03.02.10 Offender plans – work and programmes

  1. All prisons must take reasonable steps to ensure that prisoners with children will have access to the full range of regime opportunities available. It is imperative in providing services for the prisoners, that the requirement for participation in programmes to address offending behaviour and personal development is encouraged and is reflected in their offender plan.
  2. Prisoners with children in self-care units or feeding and bonding facilities have reduced access to work opportunities because of their responsibilities to their child and this must be taken into account when establishing the prisoner's offender plan.
  3. A prisoner with a child may attend a workplace but must be able to maintain the supervision of her child whilst at work. The work place must pose no health and safety risks to the child.
  4. A prisoner’s primary responsibility is as a primary caregiver for her child. This must be taken into account when establishing the prisoner’s offender plan.
  5. A prisoner with a child may attend a programme but must be able to maintain the supervision of her child whilst at the programme or have made suitable, alternative care arrangements for her child / children.
  6. Approval to attend work or programmes with a child will be declined if the work / programme environment poses health and safety risks to the child.

M.03.02.11 Searching of children and personal belongings

  1. Personal belongings of the child are the property of the prisoner and will be searched in accordance with POM S.01 Searching.
  2. An officer for the purpose of ensuring there are no unauthorised items concealed on the child’s person or in the child’s clothing will use a hand held (wand) metal detector.
  3. Where an officer has reasonable grounds to suspect that the child has an unauthorised item on their person, the officer should refer the matter to the prison director. The prison director may:
    1. Authorise a corrections officer to conduct a rub-down search of the child if the child’s mother or guardian consents to the search occurring.
    2. The officer conducting the rub-down must be of the same sex as the child and must carry out the rub-down with another officer or a member of police present.
    3. If the consent to conduct a rub-down search of a child is refused AND the prison director has reasonable grounds to believe the child has an unauthorised item on their person, the prison director may:
      1. deny the child entry to the site
      2. if the child is residing in a self-care unit, require that the child is removed from the Prison and placed with an alternative caregiver.

(See POM S.01 Searching, S.04 Person refusing searches and S.01.Form.03 Forced Rub down search.)

M.03.02.12 Drug free conditions

  1. All prisoners must agree to remain drug free whilst in the self-care unit or whilst using the feeding and bonding facility with their child and sign the appropriate agreement to this effect.
  2. Procedures are in place for urine testing for drugs to take place. Tests may be administered:
    1. to ratify eligibility for admission as a voluntary participant
    2. under general random mandatory testing arrangements
    3. where the prison director or staff member authorised for the purpose believes on reasonable grounds that the prisoner mother has used a drug or consumed alcohol.
  3. Prisoners with a child resident in self-care units or participants in feeding and bonding facilities, will normally have the child removed from the unit and her placement reassessed if found guilty at adjudication of either of the following:
    1. a positive urine test result
    2. illegal possession of a controlled drug, utensils associated with drug taking or proven to be supplying drugs.
      Note: This will be at the discretion of the prison director and in this event the child will be placed in the care of an alternative caregiver identified by the prisoner mother on the original application.
  4. If the prisoner becomes IDU status, the usual IDU status procedures will apply.

M.03.02.13 Register / Records

  1. An incident / accident report must be made to the prison director of the prison of any injury to or any incident involving a child resident in the prison.
  2. A register of all children resident in a self-care unit or participating in the feeding and bonding facility must be maintained by the prison, showing:
    1. Name of the child and prisoner mother
    2. Location of the child within the prison
    3. Date the child entered the prison; and whether it was an emergency reception
    4. Date and details of formal application
    5. Name of General Practitioner
    6. Name of alternative caregivers
    7. Date and reason the child leaves the prison.