Friday, November 18, 2005

Something to watch out for

Browsing the Department of Corrections' Briefing for the Incoming Minister, I came across this section:

One of the issues raised during the passage of [the Prisoners' and Victims' Claims Act] was the adequacy of prisoner complaints mechanisms, and the Ministry of Justice was directed to undertake a review. The report, which was published in April 2005, considered the effectiveness of the internal prison-based complaints mechanism, the Inspectorate and the Office of the Ombudsmen in dealing with complaints by prisoners.

The Department is to report to the Ministers of Corrections and Justice by 30 November 2005 on:

  • the effect of changes made to the complaints system by the Corrections Act 2004 and the Corrections Regulations 2005
  • further steps to improve the effectiveness of the internal complaints procedures
  • the Department’s responsiveness to the Ombudsmen.

Not mentioned in the briefing is the fact that that report utterly panned Corrections' existing complaints processes, and particularly its slow response to rulings by the Ombudsmen. It will be interesting to see what steps Corrections is taking to resolve these problems, and I'll be requesting the report under the OIA the moment it comes out.