Monitoring places of detention

Aroturuki i ngā wāhi whakarau

The Ombudsman visits places where people are detained to check their treatment and conditions.

Places that people cannot leave at will, and the Ombudsman inspects, include:

  • prisons
  • court facilities
  • mental health facilities
  • intellectual disability facilities
  • aged care facilities
  • COVID-19 managed isolation and quarantine facilities
  • immigration detention centres.

The Ombudsman then makes recommendations to these places where necessary to improve the conditions of detention and detainee treatment.

For more information about this work see:

Information about this work is available in multiple languages and accessible formats.


The Chief Ombudsman’s designation on 1 April 2020 as an essential service during the COVID-19 pandemic required him to reset his planned inspection programme. These resources provide more information about his inspections during the pandemic.

Media statements

Statement of principles & inspection criteria

The Ombudsman provided agencies responsible for places of detention with a set of principles and his inspection criteria, to guide them during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other resources


Ombudsman report offers valuable lessons to secure aged care facilities during lockdown
Report on inspections of aged care facilities under the Crimes of Torture Act 1989

Ombudsman says positive steps by prisons to keep out COVID-19 has been at the expense of some prisoners’ rights
Report on COVID-19 inspections of prisons

Mental health services inspected generally got it right over ‘lockdown’
Report on COVID-19 inspections of mental health facilities