Purpose and Principles Guiding the Corrections System
The purpose and principles guiding the corrections system are set out in the Corrections Act 2004.
The purpose of the corrections system is to improve public safety and contribute to the maintenance of a just society by:
- ensuring that the communitybased and custodial sentences and related orders that are imposed by the courts and the New Zealand Parole Board are administered in a safe, secure, humane and effective manner; and
- providing for corrections facilities to be operated in accordance with rules set out in the corrections legislation and regulations made under this legislation that are based, amongst other matters, on the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners; and
- assisting in the rehabilitation of offenders and their reintegration into the community, where appropriate, and as so far as is reasonable and practicable in the circumstances and within the resources available, through the provision of programmes and other interventions; and
- providing information to the courts and the New Zealand Parole Board to assist them in decision-making.
Principles Guiding the Corrections System
The principles that guide the operation of the corrections system are that:
- the maintenance of public safety is the paramount consideration in decisions about the management of persons under control or supervision
- victims' interests must be considered in decisions related to the management of persons under control or supervision
- in order to reduce the risk of re-offending, the cultural background, ethnic identity, and language of offenders must, where appropriate and to the extent practicable within the resources available, be taken into account:
- in developing and providing rehabilitative programmes and other interventions intended to effectively assist the rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders into the community; and
- in sentence planning and management of offenders
- offenders must, where appropriate and so far as is reasonable and practicable in the circumstances, be provided with access to any process designed to promote restorative justice between offenders and victims
- an offender's family must, so far as is reasonable and practicable in the circumstances and within the resources available, be recognised, and involved in:
- decisions related to sentence planning and management, and the rehabilitation and reintegration of the offender into the community; and
- planning for participation by theoffender in programmes, services and activities in the course of his or her sentence
- the corrections system must ensure the fair treatment of persons under control or supervision by:
- providing those persons with information about the rules, obligations, and entitlements that affect them; and
- ensuring that decisions about those persons are taken in a fair and reasonable way and that those persons have access to an effective complaints procedure
- sentences and orders must not be administered more restrictively than is reasonably necessary to ensure the maintenance of the law and the safety of the public, corrections staff, and persons under control or supervision
- offenders must, so far as is reasonable and practicable in the circumstances within the resources available, be given access to activities that may contribute to their rehabilitation and reintegration into the community
- contact between prisoners and their families must be encouraged and supported, so far as is reasonable and practicable and within the resources available, and to the extent that this contact is consistent with the maintenance of safety and security requirements.