How OPCAT inspections work

The Ombudsman appoints inspectors who regularly visit places of detention.

We look at:

  • how people are treated, including the use of isolation, force or restraint
  • protective measures, such as information for detainees, complaint processes, registers and record-keeping
  • conditions of detention, such as facilities and living conditions
  • detainees' activities, including contact with family and the outside world, outdoor exercise, education and leisure activities
  • access to health care
  • staff, including staffing levels, conduct and training.

We have unrestricted access to these locations. We also have unrestricted access to information about the number and treatment of detainees and conditions of detention.

We are entitled to interview any person in a place of detention, or who can provide relevant information.

After an inspection, the Ombudsman makes recommendations to improve the treatment of detainees and conditions of detention.

Why the Ombudsman monitors places of detention

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