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Department of Corrections failed to meet requirements before placing inmate in restrictive regime

Prisoners / Corrections
Ombudsmen Act 1975
Legislation display text:
Ombudsmen Act 1975
Hon Anand Satyanand
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Department of Corrections placement of inmate on restrictive regime designed for the most disruptive inmates unreasonable because criteria for placement not met—placement deemed unreasonable—inmate immediately returned to mainstream

An inmate maintained that, following a disagreement with a prison officer in which the officer was technically assaulted, he had been placed unreasonably in a regime catering for the most disruptive inmates in the New Zealand penal system.     

The Department of Corrections has established criteria that must be met before an inmate is placed on the restrictive regime. In particular, the inmate must have a maximum security classification and must have exhibited extremely disruptive behaviour.       

On investigating the complaint, it was discovered that neither criteria had been met. When prison management was advised of this, the inmate was immediately removed from the regime and placed back in the mainstream of the prison.   

This case note is published under the authority of the Ombudsmen Rules 1989. It sets out an Ombudsman’s view on the facts of a particular case. It should not be taken as establishing any legal precedent that would bind an Ombudsman in future.

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