F.11 Special religious services
A special religious service is a religious service that may take place at a prison when a prisoner does not attend a funeral / tangi that they would normally be expected to attend. The instructions below indicate the process that needs to be followed for a special religious service.
Special religious service criteria
- Prisoner may request a special service when a family / whānau member has passed away if:
- the prisoner advises they have chosen not to attend the actual tangi / funeral service
- the family / whānau do not wish the prisoner to attend
- the prisoner’s application for temporary release or an escorted outing to attend a tangi / funeral has been declined.
F.11.01 Application for special religious service
- The prisoner must make a written request for a special religious service using the prisoner complaint process.
- The officer entering the PC.01.Form.01 Prisoner complaints into IOMS must update the prisoner’s file notes to show that a request has been received for a special religious service.
- The unit PCO must meet the prisoner and assist them if required to complete the F.11.Form.01 Application for special religious service. The prisoner must provide the names of any nominated visitors wishing to attend the special religious service.
- The Kaitiaki, Kaiwhakamana, Fautua Pasefika, and / or Chaplain, may provide a written statement supporting the prisoner’s application for special service.
- The unit PCO will record the names of nominated visitors on the F.11.Form.01 Application for special religious service.
- The unit PCO will check the 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, in consultation with the appropriate cultural adviser and the chaplain, possible dates, times, and venue for a special service. This information is recorded on the application form.
- The unit PCO records his or her recommendation on whether they support, or do not support the prisoner’s application for a special service and then forwards the completed application to the prison director for consideration.
- The prison director will decide whether to approve or decline each special service application on its own merits.
F.11.02 Prison director declines application
- The prison director records on the application, his or her reasons for declining the special religious service.
- The prison director forwards the application to the unit PCO, who informs the prisoner their application for a special religious service has been declined.
- The unit PCO arranges for the prisoner to undertake the POM M.05 Prisoners at risk to themselves procedure.
- The prisoner must be informed they can have this decision reviewed through the prisoner complaints process, or by contacting the Inspector and / or Ombudsman. A copy of the declined application is given to the prisoner.
- PCO ensures that the prisoner’s File Notes is updated with the details of the special service.
- Declined application form is placed in prisoner’s penal file under J section.
F.11.03 Prison director approves application
- The prison director endorses the application, with his or her decision approving the special service, and returns the application to the unit PCO for processing.
- The unit PCO sends the visitor's application form 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 special religious service if this would not present a risk to site safety or security. (The prison director may seek advice from National Office, Service Support, Operations).
- The unit PCO confirms the date, time, and venue for the special religious service with the appropriate cultural adviser and the chaplain.
- The unit PCO advises the prisoner and all appropriate staff of the details of the special religious service.
- The unit PCO advises the family / whānau of the details of the special religious service by completing a F.11.Form.02 Confirmation of nominated visitor attendance at special religious service for each of the approved nominated private visitors attending.
- The unit PCO arranges the refreshments for the special service.
- The unit PCO prepares the F.11.Form.03 Operational order for special religious service and forwards to the prison director for approval prior to the event date, and develop staff roster for the special service.
- The unit PCO advises case officer to update the prisoner’s File Notes with the details of the special religious service.
- Approved application form is placed in prisoner’s penal file under J section.