New Zealand Law Society - New children prison visit rules from 1 September

New children prison visit rules from 1 September

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The Department of Corrections has issued a reminder about the new rules for children visiting prisoners, effective from 1 September 2016.

The new rules require that all visits to prisons by children under 16 are pre-approved by their guardian and Corrections.

From 1 September the rules require a prisoner wanting visits from a child under 16 to initiate the visitor approval process. As long as there are no court orders prohibiting contact, permission will be sought from the child's guardian. If they agree, each child visitor application will then be reviewed individually by Corrections.

If certain arrangements need to be put in place to ensure safe and appropriate contact happens, the Department will do that. If it is determined, however, that contact may place a child at risk of harm, it will also take the necessary action to keep that child safe.

"Corrections supports safe and appropriate contact between parents and their children, however, it has a duty of care to ensure that the interests of children are protected while they are visiting prisons," Chief Custodial Officer Neil Beales says.

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