M.04.05 Temporary removals

The purpose of this section is to manage prisoners who have been temporarily removed from prison. Prisoners remain in the legal custody of the Chief Executive throughout the period they are away from the prison. The custodial system manager or reception/movements manager (or PCO undertaking after-hours duties) may at any time direct the prisoner to return to a prison.

Watch Point

Preservation of life is the key priority. In emergency situations, and with verbal approval, escorts can leave site for the hospital without escort documentation. This documentation is to be completed as soon as possible and handed over to the escorting staff, ensuring they fully understand the instructions.

M.04.05.01 Temporary removal purposes

  1. Prisoners may from time-to–time be required to be removed from the prison to:
    1. recognise or maintain a family relationship or a friendship
    2. obtain medical, or other, assessment or treatment
    3. give birth, or attend the birth of the prisoner's child, or visit the prisoner's newborn child
    4. engage with, take part in, or attend a religious, community, cultural, educational, recreational, service, or sporting group, activity, or event
    5. to undertake an activity that supports the rehabilitative or re-integrative needs of the prisoner
    6. prepare for the possibility of release.
      Note: Refer to [M.04.05.Res.01 Approved purposes for temporary removals] for full details and examples of temporary removals.
  2. Every prisoner is eligible for applying for temporary removal who is:
    1. sentenced to imprisonment.
    2. a prisoner on remand.
    3. a prisoner detained under an order that is not a sentence of imprisonment.

M.04.05.02 Application for temporary removal

  1. Application by a prisoner for temporary removal must be in writing.
  2. A prisoner's temporary removal application must be responded to promptly and managed in a way that reflects the urgency of the application.
  3. The custodial system manager or reception/movements manager (or PCO undertaking after-hours duties) must complete the following forms ensuring there is sufficient and accurate information provided to enable an accurate decision to be made on whether or not the application should be approved:
    1. [M.04.05.Form.02 Temporary removal application details] (This is the manual form to use if IOMS is unavailable otherwise this is the [C.02 IOMS process Prison Transportation Application Details].)
      Watch Point

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

      Refer to POM [M.03.02 Pregnant women in prison].

  4. When making their decision the custodial system manager or reception/movements manager (or PCO undertaking after-hours duties) must consider:
    1. the security risk posed by the prisoner
    2. security measures including security measures where staff and prisoners move through public areas
    3. the public's general perception of prisoner control and security.

M.04.05.03 Temporary removal approval

  1. A prisoner’s application for temporary removal can be approved or declined by the prison director.
  2. Temporary removals must only be approved for a fixed period.
  3. Any temporary removal is subject to the condition that the person removed must be under the control or supervision of an officer, a staff member, or a probation officer during the period of removal.
  4. A temporary removal may also be subject to any other condition imposed by the prison director.

M.04.05.05 Application approval

  1. The prisoner is advised of the reasons for the approval and any variation of their temporary removal application.
  2. If the prisoner is being escorted to hospital, their nominated contact person in IOMS needs to be confirmed, along with their contact details, or he or she should be requested to provide a nominated contact person if he or she has not already provided one.
  3. In determining the level of mechanical restraint required, staff must apply POM [M.04.02 Use of restraints for escorts / transfers] procedures.
  4. The appropriate IOMS procedure Prisoner Transportation menu / tab shall be completed for all temporary removals.
  5. Two copies of the [C.02 IOMS process Transit Conditions form] are printed and the escorting officer in-charge signs both copies to acknowledge that he or she is aware of the instructions for the escort.
  6. One copy of the signed [C.02 IOMS process Transit Conditions forms] from IOMS is carried by the officer in-charge of the escort throughout the temporary removal, and one copy is kept in the control room / gate house until the escort is completed.
  7. On arrival at the approved destination, the prison director must state on the [M.04.01.Form.01 Prisoner escort instruction] when the waist restraint will be removed. (Handcuffs may still apply). If the [C.02 IOMS process Risk Assessment] requires that the waist restraints must remain on for the duration of the escort, then this must be clearly stated on the [M.04.01.Form.01 Instructions for Escorts].
  8. In the event of a prisoner's admission to hospital or psychiatric hospital or security facility and on his / her return to prison, the prison director must inform a person nominated by the prisoner* as a contact person or, if the prisoner has not nominated any such person, the prisoner's next of kin; and if the prisoner is a service prisoner, the prisoner's commanding officer.

* Note: As per POM [M.04.02 Use of restraints for escorts / transfers] – if mechanical restraint is assessed as required (without waist restraint) for an external movement / escort, High Security Handcuffs (with inserts) are to be used.

** Note: If the prisoner asks that their next of kin not be notified, staff must comply with the request.

M.04.05.06 Supervisory personnel responsibilities

  1. An officer who has achieved National Certificate of Offender Management Level Three NZQA Unit Standard Escort Prisoners must be assigned as the Officer In Charge (OIC) of the escort. Even though the Level Three accreditation is no longer an NZQA Standard, Prison Directors must still ensure sufficient staff are assessed (by a GTE Assessor) and pass the Level Three standard. The OIC’s name must be written on the [Escort Instructions form] after printing off the form and before the escort departs. The escorting OIC is notified in writing ([C.02 IOMS process Transit Conditions form]) of any arrangements and conditions of the temporary removal and what action to take if the prisoner's behaviour gives cause for concern.
  2. Escorting officers, staff members or probation officers having control or supervision of prisoners on temporary removal must be briefed and given detailed written instructions, including any special security conditions such as the use of handcuffs, prior to each temporary removal been undertaken.
    1. Under [section 87(1) of the Corrections Act 2004] a probation officer may not use handcuffs on a prisoner, but a staff member is authorised to do so.
    2. Staff members (other than custodial staff) and probation officers may only supervise prisoners on temporary removal when the custodial system manager or reception/movements manager (or PCO undertaking after-hours duties) has approved that person to perform supervision duties.
  3. Every officer, staff member and probation officer must exercise the utmost care and vigilance in the control and supervision of any prisoner on temporary removal.
  4. No officer, staff member, or probation officer may relinquish the control of a prisoner when outside the prison except if authorised as required by an enactment or orders by handling control of the prisoner over to another officer, staff member, probation officer, or member of the police.
  5. Any officer, staff member or probation officer who is carrying out escort duties for a temporary removal must ensure:
    1. The safety and security of the prisoner(s) being escorted.
    2. That male and female prisoners are escorted separately.
    3. That all documents related to the prisoner are held in a covered folder or satchel within the possession or control of staff.
    4. That the prisoner(s) being escorted are exposed to public view as little as possible, and as far as practicable in the circumstances, do not communicate with the public.

      Note: Under [section 38(b) of Corrections Act 2004], a probation officer has the powers of an officer to give any lawful order to a prisoner, and is an officer for the purpose of a number of specified provisions. However there is no equivalent of [section 38(6)] for "staff members".
    5. Procedures are in place to record the departure, return and any incidents relating to a prisoner on a temporary removal.
    6. The prisoner must be informed that he / she must return to prison immediately if the person supervising him / her on a temporary removal becomes ill or incapacitated, or that supervision ceases for any other reason.
    7. If the prisoner fails without reasonable excuse (the proof of which lies with the prisoner) to return, he / she is deemed to have escaped from lawful custody and are liable accordingly.

M.04.05.07 Refusal of application

  1. The prisoner is advised of any reasons for the declining or any variation to their temporary removal application.
  2. Complaints by prisoners, about a decision on a temporary removal application, may be made directly to an Inspector of Corrections.
  3. Complaints received from prisoner by prison staff, must be forwarded to an Inspector of Corrections within 7 calendar days. This complaint process does not restrict a prisoner's right to make a complaint directly to the Office of the Ombudsmen.

M.04.05.08 Administration

  1. A copy of the completed [application form (C.02 process] on IOMS or the manual form [M.04.05.Form.02 Temporary removal application details]), including the decision reached with reasons provided, is placed on the prisoner's file along with any reports provided to assist consideration of the application.

M.04.05.09 Costs associated with temporary removal on compassionate grounds

  1. The family or the prisoner must agree to meet the expenses arising from any compassionate temporary removal.
  2. Where more than one escorting officer is considered necessary, only the cost of one officer is charged.
  3. The charges which must be met are:
    1. the fares of the prisoner and one escorting officer
    2. travelling allowances and expenses, taxis and other expenses for one officer
    3. one officer's salary and overtime to the nearest hour from time of departure to time of return at grade equivalent to custodial officer is charged irrespective of the officer's actual grading. This should include overtime rates if an officer has to be called back on a rostered day off.
  4. The actual cost is to be assessed in each individual case. The family or the prisoner is then to be advised of the sum and the basis of the charge and informed that the deposit of money prior to the escort is necessary for it to proceed and that deposit of the money constitutes an agreement to pay the charges.