Modernising our service is an important foundation if we are to achieve our reducing re-offending goal. We will continue our substantial investment programme in technologies and building designs that generate better safety and rehabilitative outcomes.
Corrections is investing $105 million in a multi-phase redevelopment programme, to enhance security and safety at Waikeria, Tongariro, Whanganui, Rolleston and Invercargill Prisons. Work within this programme started in 2013, and is scheduled to be completed before 2017.
Several parts of this programme had been completed by the end of the 2015/16 financial year, including:
- >> the creation of a receiving office and transit station at Tongariro Prison
- >> the upgrade of the administration building in Whanganui Prison
- >> the creation of a new administration block, a dedicated collection unit, two new housing construction yards and spaces for new parole board and job club in Rolleston Prison.
Public protection orders facility at Christchurch
Following the enactment of the Public Safety (Public Protection Orders) Act 2014 in December 2014, Corrections has created a temporary facility at Christchurch Men’s Prison.
Public protection orders (PPOs) are a new form of detention for those prisoners who must be released from prison, but who remain at risk of imminent and serious sexual or violent offending.
The facility will house any potential residents detained under a public protection order until a new facility is built, outside the wire but still within the perimeter of Christchurch Men’s Prison. They will live in individual self-care units and cannot leave the residence unescorted.
Corrections app on smartphones
With around 3,000 staff who have access to smartphones for work purposes, Corrections is always looking for new technologies to help our staff be more mobile and safe while working in the community or outside of the office environment.
All Corrections issued smartphones have a staff safety app, which sends alerts if staff are in trouble. The new smartphones allow access to work email, calendar and the internet, and the ‘Offender Contacts’ application will allow frontline staff to securely access offender information when they are out of the office, and to text an offender directly from the application.
Upgrading Community Corrections sites
Safety is the focus of a new induction process for staff at upgraded Community Corrections sites.
With a range of new security features being put in place when sites are upgraded, it is vital that staff know how to make the most of them. Features include duress alarms, reception counters with ‘anti-climb’ features, increased use of closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras and monitors, glazed interview rooms and improved lines of sight. All upgraded sites will have a main door that can be locked remotely from the reception counter, with an intercom to talk to a person standing outside.
The new security induction process ensures that staff understand all elements of the security features, and how these work together to keep staff and visitors safe.
New prisoner self-service kiosks are set to roll-out nationally, and will replace the old kiosks that have outdated technology.
185 kiosks, a mix of plinth and wall mounted, will be installed nationally. The kiosks provide prisoners with static content such as legislative information and policies, and enable prisoners to order canteen items, check trust account balances, view key dates related to their sentences and request meetings with case managers.
The kiosks were piloted at Hawkes Bay Regional Prison last year, and this confirmed that kiosks are the right solution to provide self-service functionality for multiple users in a challenging environment. They are physically secure, safe, robust, easy to use, durable and leverage off the existing infrastructure. Implementation of the kiosks will be completed in 2017.
AVL - a new way for whānau to 'visit' their young men in prison
Our two Youth Units have recently installed AVL facilities. Research shows that young people in prison are less volatile and do better in education when their whänau stays in touch.
With only two Youth Units nationally, at Hawkes Bay Regional Prison and Christchurch Men’s Prison, many of the young men are some distance from their homes, with limited access to family visits.
To address this, AVL facilities have been installed in the Youth Units to enable and enhance young people’s access to external relationships.
Approved whānau can now ‘visit’ from their nearest AVL equipped Community Corrections site.
Auckland Prison Public Private Partnership (PPP)
In late 2015, work began on a significant re-development at Auckland Prison, under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) between Corrections and Next Step Partners Limited to design, build, finance and maintain a new maximum-security facility, replacing one that dates back to 1968.
A redevelopment of approximately $300 million (accommodating up to 260 prisoners, including maximum-security) will include the construction of four accommodation buildings, secure walkways and a new central services building.
The central services building will include the receiving office, health centre, visits room, AVL facilities, kitchen, laundry and a large multi-purpose space.
Secure walkways will make moving around the site safer and more practical and will provide a link to the rest of the prison, allowing the prison to function more effectively as a unified site rather than as multiple parts.
Having no stairs in prisoner accessible areas will enable clear lines of sight, contributing to better staff and prisoner safety.
The project will also refurbish existing high security units for lower-risk offenders, and will construct a new central services building to support the entire prison complex with improved healthcare and visitor facilities.
A key part of the project is the whānau-friendly visitor’s area, which will help prisoners sustain positive relationships with those outside the prison.
Construction is expected to be completed in late 2017, and the facility to be operational by early-mid 2018, marking the 50th anniversary of the opening of the current Auckland Prison site. The operation of the prison and custody of the prisoners will continue to be the responsibility of Corrections.