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OPCAT Report: Thematic report on inspections of secure intellectual disability facilities under the Crimes of Torture Act 1989

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Executive Summary

This report provides a summary of my findings and recommendations in relation to inspections conducted between 14 August 2019 and 4 June 2020 of 17 secure residences where people with intellectual disabilities were detained. At the time of my inspections in June 2020, New Zealand was at COVID-19 Alert Level 2. [1]

Each residence was operated by one of six service providers in locations around Aotearoa New Zealand.

Overall, I found there was significant variation in the treatment and conditions across the residences. I found some positive practices, which I have highlighted in this report, and I made specific recommendations for improvements to five of the six service providers. The service providers and the Ministry of Health were provided with an opportunity to comment on my findings and recommendations.

I emphasise that the issues and recommendations summarised in this report do not apply equally, and in some cases at all, to all the service providers. However, I consider it is important to highlight the practices I found, whether positive or concerning, across the sector. My hope is that this report provides transparency around the issues I consider to be of concern, as well as promoting those positive practices observed, to improve the treatment and conditions for people with intellectual disabilities detained in secure residences.


[1] See for more about New Zealand’s COVID-19 alert system. Return to text

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