Overview of key legislation

Four main pieces of legislation govern the work Corrections does:

There’s also secondary legislation associated with these primary Acts that determines how the Department functions. This includes the Corrections Regulations 2005.

Relationship between key pieces of legislation

The different Acts apply at different stages in the criminal process.

The Bail Act sets out how someone charged with an offence can be dealt with before their trial (or appeal), and the Sentencing Act sets out how they can be dealt with if found guilty.

The Courts are generally responsible for making key decisions (orders) under these Acts. However, Corrections (and in some cases a private contractor) is responsible for managing the custody orders and most community orders the Courts make in this way. The Corrections Act sets out how this should be done.

The Parole Act applies when it is time to consider releasing a prisoner. The Parole Board is responsible for making key decisions under this Act, but Corrections is again responsible for managing offenders according to the directions of the Parole Board.

Diagram of points in the criminal process where the different Acts governing the work of Corrections apply

CAPTION: Points in the criminal process where the different Acts governing the work of Corrections apply.

Legislative reform in progress

From time to time the legislation governing the work of Corrections is amended to improve and modernise the corrections system.

Parliament is currently considering the following Bills that introduce changes to the Acts governing the Corrections system:

More information on these Bills can be found on the Parliament website.

Some Acts have already been passed by Parliament but are not yet in force.

When they do come into force, they will also change aspects of the corrections system. These Acts include:

  • Criminal Procedure Act 2011 and associated amendment Acts: These Acts are expected to be fully in force mid-2013. More information is on the Ministry of Justice website.
  • Corrections Amendment Act 2013. This Act is partly in force with remaining sections coming into force mid-2013.