Media release

Auckland South Corrections Facility let down by its staffing issues

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The Chief Ombudsman says staff shortages at one of New Zealand’s largest prisons are causing prisoners to spend extended periods of time locked in their cells and prisoners’ rehabilitation needs are not being met.

The Chief Ombudsman, Peter Boshier, has today released his first inspection report into the treatment and conditions of prisoners at Auckland South Corrections Facility (also known as Kohuora).

“I am most concerned by the prison’s practice of locking prisoners in their cells for extended amounts of time — across all parts of the prison — as a way of managing staff shortages or rostering issues,” Mr Boshier says. “My concern is that prisoners do not have sufficient time out of their cells to promote mental wellbeing.”

Mr Boshier found that the facility was well designed and maintained, operating on a Responsible Prisoner Model - promoting increased self-responsibility as part of a prisoner’s rehabilitation.

“While the operating model is commendable, I found that it had been undermined by the prison’s staffing situation,” he says. In the 12 months before the inspection, staff turnover was 21 percent.

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