To be attributed to Chief Custodial Officer Neil Beales:

The United Nations Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture establishes an international inspection system for places of detention.

The Ombudsman has responsibility under the Crimes of Torture Act (COTA) for examining and monitoring the general conditions and treatment of detainees in New Zealand prisons.

Between August 2009 - June 2015, Inspectors from the Ombudsman’s Office made visits to 18 prisons, producing 38 COTA reports. Of the 38 reports, three date back to 2009, eight to 2010, seven to 2011, one  to 2012, nine to 2013, eight to 2014 and two from 2015.

Reports on the Auckland Central Remand Centre in 2009 and New Plymouth 2010 are no longer relevant as they have since closed. Corrections has also since taken back control of the Mt Eden Corrections Facility from Serco.

In the interests of transparency, Corrections has today released the reports relating to inspections of these prisons.

There are no recommendations or observations made in these reports that are outstanding. All recommendations have either, not been accepted by Corrections due to practicality or security restrictions, or have been attended to by staff either at the time or within a subsequent timeframe.

At no point did the Ombudsman find any evidence of torture in the inspections.

The COTA inspectors made many positive findings about each prison, such as prisoners being complimentary about staff, prisoners feeling there was a staff member they could turn to for help if they had a problem, and cells being clean, tidy and well maintained.

Corrections takes its duty of care towards prisoners seriously and is committed to managing all prisoners in a safe, secure, humane and effective manner.

Prisoners have the right to be treated with humanity, dignity and respect while in prison, therefore there are a number of human rights standards in place to ensure safe detention.

If a prisoner believes their human rights have been breached, they have a number of complaints processes they can follow (such as internal complaints processes, the Inspector of Corrections, and the Ombudsman).

COTA Reports