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Ombudsman reports on unannounced prison inspection

03 August 2017

Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier has published a report on an unannounced inspection of Spring Hill Corrections Facility.

A nine-person inspection team visited Spring Hill from 20 to 28 February 2017, examining facilities and interviewing staff and prisoners.

The inspection was undertaken under the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture (OPCAT), which puts international obligations on New Zealand to ensure people held in detention are treated humanely and with decency and dignity.

“Publishing these reports supports our strengthened OPCAT programme and is part of my  push for greater transparency across the public sector”, Judge Boshier says.

“People in detention are among our most vulnerable citizens and we must meet international standards for how they are treated.”

The Spring Hill inspection found the prison was working hard to meet new challenges such as the introduction of remand prisoners and a significant increase in prisoner population, and double-bunking in cells designed for one prisoner.

Key recommendations concern improvements to first night in custody arrangements, improved systems for documenting the use of force, and completing a Shared Accommodation Risk Assessment before putting prisoners into double-bunked cells.

Last updated on the 16th September 2019