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Chief Ombudsman's expectations for prisons published

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The Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier has published a document setting out his expectations for the conditions and treatment of people in prisons, or otherwise in the custody of the Ara Poutama Aotearoa – Department of Corrections.

Read the expectations document

The OPCAT Expectations – Corrections sets out his seven overarching expectations, these are:

  • The rights of people in custody are upheld by people, principles and practices at all levels.
  • People in custody are safe and their independence is promoted.
  • People in custody can build towards their future, through remaining connected with the wider community and access to meaningful development opportunities.
  • People in custody are treated with dignity and respect.
  • People in custody enjoy the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. 
  • People in custody are in an environment that promotes their safety, independence, culture, dignity, and wellbeing.
  • People in custody are supported by skilled, motivated, and engaged people.

He also has an additional expectation for the conditions and treatments of residents in residences established under section 114 of the Public Safety (Public Protection Orders) Act 2014.

These expectations intend to provide people in custody, their whānau, any person or agency involved with people in custody, Parliament and the public with an insight into some of the areas Mr Boshier considers when monitoring prisons.

They will also guide his staff when they are carrying out visits and inspections as part of his monitoring programme.

Mr Boshier will be publishing similar expectations for mental health and intellectual disability places of detention.

Note: This is the first version of the Ombudsman’s OPCAT- Expectations - Corrections and will be updated over time. Mr Boshier welcomes feedback on this document, understanding that best practice is continually evolving.

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