New Zealand Law Society - Third reading for Corrections Amendment Bill

Third reading for Corrections Amendment Bill

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The Corrections Amendment Bill had its third reading in Parliament on 22 October 2019.

The bill was introduced by Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis on 19 March 2018.

This bill includes a suite of amendments to the Corrections Act 2004 designed to improve the ability of the Department of Corrections to safely and humanely manage prisoners, improve prisoner discipline and safety, and ensure the fair treatment of prisoners.

Clause 14 inserts new sections 61A to 61H – Prisoners at risk of self-harm. These provisions include provisions for ongoing assessment of prisoners for risk of self-harm, steps that the prison manager and health centre manager must take in respect of at-risk prisoners and for the establishment and management of prisoner risk-management plans.

Clause 17 amends section 81A – (Request and approval for placement of child with mother) and requires the chief executive to provide reasons and to notify the prisoner of any refusal to approve a request for a child’s placement with his or her mother.

Clause 21 inserts new sections 92A to 92D (meaning of scanner search). New section 92C(2) provides that imaging must avoid showing a clear image of the body beneath the clothing as far as practicable. New section 92D provides for restrictions when the imaging technology is used as an alternative to strip searches.

Clause 22 amends section 94 and provides that a rub-down search, a strip-search and an imaging technology search replacing a strip search may only be carried out by a person of the same sex as the person being searched.

Part 2 contains consequential amendments to the Corrections Regulations 2005.

Sections 4(2), 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 25(1AAA) to (1), 31, 32, 33, 34, and 37 come into force on a date appointed by the Governor-General by Order in Council. Any of these sections not earlier brought into force come into force on the date that is 6 months after the date on which the Act receives the Royal assent.

The rest of the Act comes into force on the day after the date on which it receives the Royal assent.

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