F.10 Family / Whānau Days
Family / whānau visits are encouraged and supported to assist in maintaining or establishing relationships with prisoners and their family / whānau in a culturally appropriate manner to assist their well being and promote the prisoner’s effective reintegration into society.
Family / whānau day criteria
- The prisoner welfare committee may request a family / whānau day. However:
- there can be no more than two a year per unit
- the prisoner welfare trust account must have sufficient funds to pay for the food and any other item that is to be provided (e.g. Easter eggs for the children at Easter) at the event
- Prisoners are permitted to attend approved family / whānau days except when prisoners are:
- accused prisoners
- off privileges
- on cell confinement
- registered as identified drug users
- on booth visits
- at-risk prisoners
F.10.01 Application for family / whānau day
- The representative(s) of the prisoner welfare committee must make a written request for a family / whānau day using the prisoner complaint process.
- Unit staff must provide the representatives of the prisoner welfare committee the completed F.10.Form.01 Prisoners nominated visitors list for a family whānau day, when advised of the request for a family / whānau day. Unit staff must explain to the representatives of the prisoner welfare committee:
- each prisoner may only nominate a maximum of three (3) adult visitors;
- there is no limit on the number of minors (persons aged 16 or less), who can attend, however,
- the total number of visitors and prisoners attending the event cannot exceed the maximum number of persons permitted in the venue (as set out by the Fire Regulations).
- the food, refreshments and any other items will be funded by the prisoner welfare trust account.
- The officer entering the PC.01.Form.01 Prison complaints into IOMS must update the representative of the prisoner welfare committee prisoner’s file notes to show that a request has been received for a family / whānau day.
- The unit PCO must meet the representatives of the prisoner welfare committee and assist them if required to complete the F.10.Form.02 Application for family whānau day. The prisoner welfare committee representative must provide the completed F.10.Form.01 Prisoners nominated visitors list for a family whānau day.
- The unit PCO will attach the completed F.10.Form.01 Prisoners nominated visitors list for a family whānau day to the completed F.10.Form.02 Application for family whānau day.
- The unit PCO will check the nominated visitors’ status in IOMS and record on the application form, next to the visitors’ names, whether they are approved, not approved, or prohibited.
- The unit PCO will recommend possible dates, times, and venue for the family / whānau day. This information is recorded on the F.10.Form.02 Application for family whānau day. The venue must include:
- access for disabled persons
- access to toilets
- storage for visitor’s belongings
- adequate seating
- a play area for child / parent interaction
- a suitable area to feed and change babies / toddlers.
- The unit PCO records his or her recommendation on whether they support, or do not support the prisoner’s application for a family / whānau day and then forwards the completed application to the prison director for consideration.
- The prison director will decide whether to approve or decline each family / whānau day application on its own merits.
F.10.02 Prison director declines application
- The prison director records on the application, his or her reasons for declining the request for family / whānau day.
- The prison director forwards the application to the unit PCO, who informs the prisoners welfare committee representative their application for a family / whānau day has been declined.
- PCO ensures that the prisoner’s File Notes is updated with the decision of the prison director.
- Declined application form is placed in the unit’s Family Days Application file.
F.10.03 Prison director approves application
- The prison director endorses the application, with his or her decision approving the family / whānau day, and returns the application to the unit PCO for processing.
- The unit PCO sends the V.01.Form.01 Private visitor application to become an approved private visitor, to all non-approved visitors.
- Visits administration staff process with urgency the returned visitor applications, and forward the results to the unit PCO.
- The unit PCO provides the prison director with revised visitor status, and the names of any visitor who have failed the security check.
- The prison director may allow any private visitor who fails a security clearance to visit for the express purpose of attending a family / whānau day if this would not present a risk to site safety or security (the prison director may seek advice from Manager Operations Support).
F.10.04 Unit PCO preparation requirements
- On receipt of the decision and list of approved visitors the unit PCO must:
- advise the prisoners welfare committee representatives and all appropriate staff of the details of the family / whānau day.
- advise each of the approved nominated private visitors attending the details of the family / whānau day by completing and forwarding a F.10.Form.03 Confirmation of nominated visitor attendance at family / whānau day.
- prepare a F.10.Form.04 Operational order for family whānau day for each and every family / whānau day and this must be sent to the prison director for approval one month prior to the event date.
- advise the Principal Instructor Catering of the required refreshments for the family / whānau day, and arrange payment for the refreshments from the welfare trust account.
- develop staff roster for the family / whānau day.
- check the number and names of prisoners approved to attend a family / whānau day, and exclude prisoners who are off privileges, subject to cell confinement, or who are identified drug users,
- place the approved application form in the unit’s Family Days Application file.
F.10.05 On the family / whānau day
- All visitors attending the family / whānau day are subject to the normal search (for any unauthorised items) and entry procedures.
- All visitors attending the family / whānau day will be escorted to and from the venue.
- Prisoners will be mustered using a face to name muster board prior to visitors departing the prison
- Prisoners maybe searched before they are returned to their cell or unit.