8 August 2019 release
Inspection reports for three Christchurch prisons released
The Office of the Inspectorate today released inspection reports for the three Christchurch prisons – Christchurch
Men’s, Christchurch Women’s and Rolleston.
Inspections provide a ‘window into prisons’, giving early warning of emerging risks and challenges, and highlighting
areas of innovation and good practice.
The inspections found that generally all three prisons provided a safe and healthy environment where prisoners’ needs
were met. Prisoners had access to a range of activities to keep them engaged and support positive change, including
rehabilitation programmes, work experience and education programmes.
At Christchurch Men’s Prison, many prisoners said they felt safe in their units, despite incidents of violence being
recorded. Staff demonstrated good active management when dealing with prisoners. Parts of some units were in a poor
state of repair.
At the time of the inspection, Christchurch Women’s Prison was at capacity, with all beds full. The prison was
short-staffed and under pressure in some areas. Despite this, there was little evidence of violence and gang activity,
access to contraband was low and there was relatively little intimidation.
The inspection found that Rolleston Prison’s units and cells were warm, clean, free from graffiti and well maintained.
There was little gang influence or vio¬lence, but some bullying and standovers were reported. The prison had a
construction yard and nursery for training and employment.
The inspections took place between May and July 2018.
Inspections are carried out against a set of healthy prison standards derived from United Nations guidelines on the
treatment of people in detention (known as the Nelson Mandela Rules). These standards consider all aspects of prison
life, with a particular focus on four guiding principles:
Safety: Prisoners are held safely
Respect: Prisoners are treated with respect for human dignity
Rehabilitation: Prisoners are able, and expect, to engage in activity that is likely to benefit them
Reintegration: Prisoners are prepared for release into the community and helped to reduce their likelihood of
The Office of the Inspectorate is part of the Department of Corrections, but is required to act independently in its
inspections and other investigations. The Office of the Inspectorate also carries out investigations into complaints
from people under Correction’s management, investigates all deaths in custody, and can be tasked to carry out special