Nature and scope of functions

The Department of Corrections will improve public safety and reduce re-offending.

We manage offenders:

  • serving sentences and orders in the community
  • remanded in custody
  • serving custodial sentences.

We ensure that sentences and orders are administered in a safe, secure, humane and effective manner. Our facilities must operate in accordance with the Corrections Act 2004 and Corrections Regulations 2005. These are in line with the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners. Sections 70-82 of the Corrections Act 2004 set out the mandatory minimum entitlements provided to prisoners.

We provide rehabilitation programmes to help offenders address their offending-related behaviours; education and employment opportunities to improve offenders’ skills and help them gain employment on release from prison; and services to help offenders reintegrate back into the community.

We provide the Judiciary with reports on offenders to assist judges in making sentencing decisions. We provide administrative services and information to the New Zealand Parole Board to assist its decisions on whether offenders should be released, when, and under what conditions.

We notify victims of crime, registered by Police on the Victims Notification Register, of information requirements as set out in the Victims’ Rights Act 2002. We also refer registered victims to specialist support organisations for appropriate assistance.

In carrying out sentence management and offender management, we take into account the cultural background, ethnic identity, faith, and language of offenders to assist in their rehabilitation and reintegration back into the community and reduce re-offending.

Sections 5 and 6 of the Corrections Act 2004 set out in more detail the purpose of the corrections system and principles under which we must operate. Maintaining public safety and reducing re-offending are paramount considerations in decisions about the management of offenders under our control or supervision.