V.03 Visitor arrival

The purpose of these procedures is for staff to manage the arrival and admittance of visitors into prisons safely and ensuring that the security of the prison is maintained at all times.

Visitor arrival criteria

  1. Only approved visitors are allowed access to the facility.
Watch Point

From 27 June 2022, COVID-19 vaccination requirements for all individuals visiting people in prison will be suspended.

From this date:

  • People who had their private, specified, or volunteer visitor application declined due to their vaccination status, can now reapply to visit people in prison.
  • People will not be required to show evidence of their vaccination status on arrival to visit people in prison.

V.03.01 Scheduled visitor arrival checking

  1. Identity of all visitors aged 18 and over is confirmed at entry to and departure from the facility by:
    1. confirming the identity of the visitor by matching the visitor’s proof of identity to the Expected Visitors List. Acceptable forms of identification include:
      1. driver's licence
      2. passport
      3. bankcard (with photo)
      4. student ID card
      5. 18+ card
      6. SuperGold Card (with photo).
    2. where a visitor does not have approved identification, requesting them to supply a passport photo to the prison (the visitor must keep one for themselves for future visits) with their details endorsed by a reliable confirmatory person, who:
      1. is a JP, Deputy Registrar, barrister or solicitor, teacher, member of the Police or person with standing in the community, and
      2. has known the visitor for at least 12 months, and
      3. is unrelated to the person, and
      4. does not live with the person. (This is similar to the process to support and verify a NZ passport).
    3. If the visitor is aged under 18, the copy of V.01.Form.01.06 Child Visitor Approval Notification or V.01.Form.01.07 Child Visitor Approval Notification – with conditions (whichever applies) may be checked by staff against the copy kept on file.
    4. checking the Expected Visitors List to confirm if the prisoner has agreed to the visit
    5. checking IOMS to see if the visitor has been prohibited or has conditions for the visit
    6. asking the visitor to provide their Visitor Approval Notification letter.
    7. All private visitors, including child visitors and accompanying adult visitor, must have their Visitor Approval Notification letter available for inspection by prison staff.
  2. If a visitor's identity cannot be confirmed at entry, they are to be issued with instructions for their visits.
  3. Where appropriate the following information must be recorded accurately into the visitors register:
    1. visitor's name
    2. designation
    3. address or organisation
    4. purpose of visit
    5. date and time of entry
    6. time of exit.
  4. All visitors, including specified, statutory, legal representatives and enforcement officers, must provide their appropriate identification when presenting for entry when requested. If the approved identification \ card cannot be produced, an alternative form of identification must be produced and the name checked against the List of Approved Specified Visitors.
  5. Kaitiaki Advisory Board members are permitted special access privileges to Northland Region Corrections Facility only. Access rights are not transferable to any other prison or facility.

V.03.02 Unscheduled visitor

  1. Unscheduled visits may be approved by the reception/movements manager at the time of visit. Before permitting an unscheduled visit, authorised staff must consider the following:
    1. distance the visitor has travelled
    2. first visitor to prisoner
    3. any prior unscheduled visitors
    4. relationship to prisoner
    5. if there are orders protecting the visitor (including children) or prisoner.
  2. If this is an unscheduled visit, designated staff must enter visitor information into IOMS Expected Visitor List and process as above.

V.03.03 Refusing visitor admittance to prison

  1. Prison staff may refuse entry to any visitors if:
    1. the prisoner does not wish to see the visitor
    2. there is an emergency that threatens the safety of any person or the security of the prison
    3. the visitor fails to give a staff member any information the staff member is entitled to from them
    4. the visitor does not comply with the legislative requirements relating to visits, or any rule or lawful order given by an officer
    5. the name provided does not appear on the Expected Visitors List
    6. a request for identification has been refused
    7. the visitor does not produce an acceptable form of (photo) identification
    8. there are reasonable grounds to believe that the identification produced is false
    9. name and ID do not match the name on the Expected Visitors List (if this occurs, prison staff must ask the visitor why their name does not match and for proof of name change if appropriate)
    10. the visitor's behaviour is inappropriate, aggressive, threatening or intimidating towards others
    11. the visitor’s behaviour is threatening or disruptive to the security and order of the prison
    12. the visitor’s behaviour is indecent
    13. the visitor is wearing gang regalia and has refused to remove them
    14. the visitor is found in possession of an unauthorised item (e.g. drug, alcohol, other intoxicating substance or offensive weapon) and failed to report the possession to the officer supervising entry to the prison, when trying to enter the prison
    15. the visitor is under 18 years, and
      1. is not accompanied by a visitor who has been approved for entry, and
      2. does not have the reception/movements manager's approval for an unaccompanied visit.
  2. Unscheduled visitors who are refused entry to visit must be advised that the prisoner will be requested to initiate the visitor approval process by submitting a V.01.Form.01.00 Request for Private Visitor Application with an explanation of the procedure for visit approval (unless exceptional circumstances apply).
  3. Failure to produce an approved identity card by specified, legal, and enforcement visitors, may, at the discretion of the reception/movements manager; lead to the individual concerned being refused entry and asked to leave.
  4. The reception/movements manager retains the right to refuse entry to any visitor for any reason including site security or personal safety.

V.03.04 Excluding visitors from future visits

  1. When a visitor is excluded from a prison, the officer excluding the visitor must immediately give the visitor the reason for the exclusion and record in writing the date, time and reason for the exclusion.
  2. If staff have denied entry to a visitor, they may, depending on the circumstance, exclude the visitor from the prison by issuing them with a V.03.Form.01 Visitor exclusion notice. This form must contain the following information:
    1. the date it was issued
    2. the name of the visitor being excluded
    3. the date and time the visitor was excluded, and
    4. the reasons for excluding the visitor.
  3. Officers may use reasonable force to remove a visitor if the visitor refuses to leave when excluded.
  4. If applicable in the circumstances, the prisoner who the visitor wished to see is provided with a copy of the V.03.Form.01 Visitor exclusion notice.
  5. If the visitor being excluded has specified visitor status, staff must:
    1. immediately notify the reception/movements manager of the exclusion
    2. forward all documentation to reception/movements manager so they are fully informed
    3. send the visitor a copy of the exclusion notice within 24 hours.
  6. Unlike a prohibition order, a V.03.Form.01 Visitor exclusion notice relates only to the particular prison where the exclusion took place.

V.03.05 Visitor entry

  1. Visitor must sign the Visitor Book, (e.g. Kalamazoo) and the visitor is to be issued a visitor slip.
  2. The visitor is instructed to retain the visitor slip on their person until they leave the facility. If the visitor has approved identification (specified, statutory or enforcement officer) remind the visitor to retain their photo ID.
  3. A locker is to be offered to a visitor for storage of personal items.
  4. Visitors are to receive explanations of visitor and OSH requirements, and offered a booklet containing this information.
  5. Visitors are sent to the gatehouse (or appropriate entry point).
  6. Visitor movements between the gatehouse and the visit area are to be monitored, and visitors escorted if requested (any unusual movements or unauthorised movements are reported to the Movements PCO).
  7. IOMS should be updated at the time of the visitor’s entry.

V.03.06 Visitor search on entry

  1. All visitors, including statutory visitors and specified visitors, must seek the reception/movements manager’s written approval prior to a visit, to bring authorised items into, or out of, a prison on behalf of prisoners or staff.
  2. Visitors carrying prescribed medication will be required to provide information relating to that medication before they will be permitted entry to a prison, and:
    1. may only bring into the prison the quantity of medicine that is reasonably required whilst they are in the prison
    2. must carry prescribed medication in its original container
    3. are required to provide proof that they require access to the prescribed medication whilst visiting a prisoner.
  3. All visitors entering a prison maybe searched.
  4. If a visitor is to be searched, they are to be advised of:
    1. their rights
    2. the authority for the search
    3. the possibility of arrest following the search if any unauthorised item is found.
  5. If prohibited or illegal items are found on the visitor, these items must be removed and the visitor refused entry.
  6. Visitors who are detained for searching or who have been arrested are to be held in humane and secure conditions.