31 March 2020
[FYI request #12074 email]
Dear Ms Rogers
I refer to your email of 23 January 2020 to the Ministry of Justice, requesting
various information about policy guidelines and training for female Corrections
Officers . On 24 January 2020, your request was transferred to the Department
of Corrections under section 14 of the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA).
1. Policy Guidelines applying to female officers working in Males
2. Information on training provided to female officers working in Males
corrections facilities specifically on handling sexual harassment and
approaches from Male inmates.
Please note that we have interpreted your requests to refer to policy guidelines
and training specifically applying to, or specifically provided for, female
There are currently no policy guidelines specifically applying to, or training or
learning packages specifically provided for, female Corrections Officers working
in male prisons. All guidelines and training encompass both male and female
Corrections Officers. Therefore, your requests are declined under section 18(e)
of the OIA, as information requested does not exist.
Physical assaults, threats and harassment are unacceptable in any workplace.
We are constantly working to ensure our prisons provide the safest environment
possible for staff and prisoners. While Corrections considers no assault to be
acceptable, we acknowledge the reality that these incidents do occur. Our staff
manage some of New Zealand's most dangerous people in a complex and
:+ www.corrections .govt.nz
Corrections has clear expectations in terms of a zero tolerance for violence and
encourages all staff to report any incidents or abuse/threats or violence . All
assaults at prison are categorised depending on their severity. These
categories include assaults where no injury occurred, and non-serious assaults,
such as those resulting in a bleeding nose. The third and most severe category
is serious assaults, which includes sexual assaults of any form and degree
where Police charges are laid.
Corrections Officers undertake extensive training delivered over multiple weeks
to ensure they are in the best position to manage prisoners safely and
effectively . The training provided to Corrections Officers includes Managing Our
Safety in Prisons (MOSIP), which is a training package delivered over five days
and is split between the first three weeks of training. The purpose of the course
is to provide staff with techniques to maintain their safety in potentially volatile
interactions with the people in our care. Discussions are facilitated within the
group of how to keep yourself safe when working in a prison environment. Staff
will learn the importance of situational awareness in being prepared for anything
that happens and when it does, have the confidence to utilise disengagement
tactics to remove themselves from dangerous situations.
Following their MOSIP training , Corrections Officers undertake a further three
weeks of training, which involves completing a range of modules which
encompass such topics as responding to incidents safely, keeping yourself safe
whilst searching people, and de-escalation and disengagement techniques .
Staff also have access to an intranet site titled Safety Conversations, a learning
resource offering multiple sessions that are designed to be delivered to a team
to facilitate conversations around safety in the workplace. Topics on the site
include: Managing Manipulative People; Intimidating Behaviour - Custodial;
and, Inappropriate Staff Behaviour.
I trust the information provided is of assistance . Should you have any concerns
with this response, I would encourage you to raise these with Corrections.
Alternatively, you are advised of your right to also raise any concerns with the
Office of the Ombudsman. Contact details are: Office of the Ombudsman, PO
Box 10152, Wellington 6143.
Deputy Chief Executive