Ombudsman releases follow-up prison inspection reports
Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier today released follow-up inspection reports of Arohata, Manawatu and Rolleston Prisons, noting that more than half the original recommendations had been fully or partly achieved.
The inspections are undertaken by the Ombudsman’s OPCAT (Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture) team. While monitoring and follow-up are ongoing, a formal follow-up visit is made between a year and 18 months after the initial inspection, with repeat recommendations made if needed.
The reports released today show that of 17 recommendations for improvement at Arohata Prison, four had been fully and three partially achieved. Twenty-two recommendations were made at Manawatu Prison; half of these had been achieved, with another four partially achieved. At Rolleston Prison, five of the 11 recommendations had been fully achieved.
‘The issues identified at these Prisons are similar to those we find across the Prison estate’, Peter Boshier said. ‘Prisoner safety and dignity, the regime for remand prisoners, and the conditions and treatment of at-risk prisoners are all areas we recommend for improvement’.
‘While I’m pleased that more than half of the recommendations have been fully or partly achieved, I’d like to see better progress in achieving the improvements we recommend’, he said.
Peter Boshier said the Ombudsman had started releasing the inspection reports in the interests of accountability and transparency. ‘It’s important that we record, and publish, what we find, the achievements and good practice as well as the areas needing improvement’, he said.
The follow-up inspection reports are available at www.ombudsman.parliament.nz.