View Full Version : Rimutaka Prison in New Zealand

09-22-2004, 02:56 AM
Rimutaka Prison


Rimutaka Prison is a prison for male minimum and medium security inmates, located near Upper Hutt, 30 kilometres north of Wellington.

Originally called Wi Tako, the prison opened in 1967 and held mostly first-time offenders. Rimutaka now accommodates up to 671 remand, and minimum and medium security male inmates, following the opening in February 2003 of three new 60-bed units.

Rimutaka, Wellington and Arohata Prisons together form the Wellington prison region.
Sentence management

The Department of Corrections provides a structured and integrated approach to managing offenders.

On arrival at prison, each inmate is assessed according to their risk of re-offending, the causes and influences of their offending behaviour, and their willingness to change. The assessment also looks at educational needs, health needs, special needs, and security risks.

A sentence plan is drawn up based on this assessment, focusing on giving the offender opportunities to break the cycle of re-offending. The plan may include programmes aimed at giving inmates the skills to deal with challenges they may face when they return to the community, such as budgeting, employment and relationships.

The process allows for the most appropriate form of intervention to be targeted to each offender. Interventions range from providing education and a career start for young offenders, to providing intensive programmes to those offenders motivated to address the causes of their offending.

Corrections has a strategy in place to minimise harm caused by drug use. The strategy aims to reduce the supply and demand of drugs in prison and the crime associated with it. To achieve the strategy, some of the methods used include visitor searches, vehicle checkpoints, use of drug dogs, a national 0800 JAILSAFE phone line, gathering crime related intelligence, liaison with the Police, and Alcohol and Drug inmate rehabilitation programmes.

A Maori Focus Unit at Rimutaka Prison focuses on addressing causes of offending and planning for a positive future within a culturally appropriate environment.

The prison's Youth Unit focuses on addressing causes of offending and re-offending of vulnerable young male inmates in a safe and appropriate environment.

A Violence Prevention Unit works with violent offenders focusing on causes of violent offending, working to reduce re-offending.

All New Zealand prisons provide medical, dental, psychological and counselling services. Chaplains provide church services and Bible study groups.

A range of programmes has been developed to either improve motivation to change, address educative or employment needs or specifically address what drives an offender's offending behaviour.

The following programmes are offered at Rimutaka Prison:

* Straight Thinking - a 70-hour group-based programme designed to assist offenders to address one of the main causes of their offending - the lack of critical reasoning required to live effectively in society
* Criminogenic programme - a 100-hour group-based programme designed to help offenders address the main causes of their offending
* Maori culture-based programmes - a number of programmes aiming to create a change in offenders' lifestyles in and after prison by discovering and recovering traditional Maori principles, values and disciplines, are available at the prison's Maori Focus Unit.

A separate fact sheet on programmes for offenders is available.
Returning to the community

The Department believes the successful reintegration of offenders into the commuity provides the best protection for society. The Department aims to provide offenders with the skills, knowledge and confidence to live successfully in the community in order to reduce their likelihood of re-offending, and a range of reintegrative services is available.
Reintegrative needs are assessed at the start of an offender's sentence, and reviewed throughout. There are seven reintegrative objectives that can be planned for. These are:

* finding a job
* finding somewhere to live
* budgeting effectively
* managing relationship
* developing positive community support
* preventing victim-related problems
* keeping healthy.

There are three levels of assistance, with all offenders receiving "level one" self-help. This includes contact details of organisations that can help them re-settle once they have left prison, and access via case officers to a knowledge base. Some offenders will require greater support from their case officer, and further referral can be made to other specialist staff (eg a social worker) or external agencies (eg NZ Prisoners' Aid Rehabilitation Society) who can provide more in depth support and advice.

For those who do not have the skills to live independently on release, a further level of support is available through reintegrative programmes.

Three reintegrative programmes have been developed:

* Living Skills - a 36-hour broad-based programme to give offenders skills and knowledge across most reintegrative areas
* Budgeting Skills - a 10-hour group programme aimed at offenders with specific budgeting and money needs
* Parenting Skills - a 32-hour group programme designed to meet parenting skills needs.
While these programmes are not yet available at all prisons, it is anticipated they will be fully operational by 2004. All three courses have been designed to meet the specific needs of Maori, Pacific Peoples and youth.


All inmates, except those on remand, are expected to work. Employment initiatives at Rimutaka include joinery, carpentry, painting, horticulture, forestry, recycling timber, farming activities, hospitality and catering.

Supervised groups of inmates assist with the maintenance of some community sites such as local parks. Many of these projects benefit the local community. Inmates receive a small incentive for the work they do.

Education programmes are available to inmates, focusing on literacy and numeracy skills. NZQA unit standards, leading to the National Certificate in Employment Skills are offered to suitable inmates. Inmates are also provided with support to complete distance education programmes.

The National Certificate in Employment Skills is available to inmates at Rimutaka Prison. This is a pre-employment qualification which offers learning in a range of work related skills, including basic literacy and numeracy. NCES is recognised by many industry areas throughout New Zealand. The focus is on improving the educational level of inmates to assist them in gaining future employment.
Special units

Maori Focus Unit - Te Whare Whakaahuru
The goal of the Maori Focus Unit, Te Whare Whakaahuru, is for inmates to leave with positive objectives and improved skills for the future which reduce the likelihood of their re-offending.

The kaupapa of the units is to establish a culturally appropriate environment in which inmates can address issues relating to their offending. The key to this is establishing a tikanga Maori environment in which inmates can face the issues that led to their offending.

Through the practice of Maori values and disciplines, and the creation of Maori programmes, the unit aims to bring about positive changes in thinking and behaviour.

The unit also has a carving centre, where inmates develop carving skills and work individually or collectively on projects.

Youth Unit
Rimutaka's 40-bed Youth Unit opened in March 2001. The unit is one of four specialist youth units in prisons throughout New Zealand for youth under 17 and those aged 17-19 who have been assessed as vulnerable.

The Youth Unit is part of the Department's strategy to address problems relating to the safe, humane containment and re-offending of vulnerable young male inmates.

Inmates in the unit are given a structured day, including education, rehabilitative programmes and learning work skills.

A separate fact sheet about young offenders is available.

Violence Prevention Unit
A specialist treatment unit for violent offenders opened at Rimutaka Prison in 1998. It is the first of its kind in the world. Inmates accepted onto the programme must recognise and control the causes of their offending.

The programme is run by the Department's Psychological Service, and it is based on social learning principles, which view violence as a learned behaviour. Participants learn to take responsibility for their actions and increase their awareness of situations, feelings and behaviours that place them at risk of re-offending.

The flow-on effect of this is less violent re-offending, which ultimately protects potential victims. Research has shown a significant reduction in anger and violence potential of offenders who have been through the treatment. Follow-up support on release into the community is an important aspect of the programme.

A separate fact sheet on the Violence Prevention Unit is available.
New facilities

Extensive new facilities are opened at the prison in February 2003. These included: three 60-bed units accommodating high-medium inmates, a new health unit, at risk unit, receiving office, security control, kitchen and visiting facility. Major upgrades to water and electrical services were also undertaken at that time.
General information

Rimutaka Prison
Private Bag 47-901
Upper Hutt

Telephone (04) 528 1300
Fax (04) 528 7484
Site Manager Dorreen MacKenzie

Rimutaka Prison is on Freyberg Rd, Trentham, Upper Hutt.
Visiting times





Monday,Tuesday, Wednesday

12.45 - 2.45pm

Remand Seg


12.45 - 1.45pm

Sentenced Seg


9.00 - 11.00am

Unit 3


9.00 - 11.00am
1.00 - 3.00pm

Unit 5


9.00 - 11.00am

Te Whare Whakaahuru


1.30 - 3.30pm
12.00 - 3.30pm

All Lower Units


9.00 - 11.00am

Units 4,6,7,8


9.00 - 11.00am
1.30 - 3.30pm

Unit 9


9.30 - 11.30am
1.30 - 3.30pm

Special Treatment Unit


1.00 - 3.00pm

Please note: Visitors should ensure that they have a visit time booked with the prison and a letter from the prison confirming this visiting time. Visitors arriving at the prison will be asked by staff to produce their letter of approval, sent prior to the visit, and a form of indentification. Other arrangements to visit can be made in special circumstances. Staff may also ask to search a visitor's car, possessions or the visitor.

On occasions the prison's drug dog is used as an aid to detect drugs and other contraband being brought into the prison. All visitors are also required to produce proof of identity and may be required to undergo a search by an officer using a metal detector.

Drakey Divine
08-10-2006, 04:59 AM
Hi, Anyone out there..Please HELP me locate CARL RANFORD...thanks...

11-19-2006, 03:47 PM
How do you find out if someone is in prison?

Drakey Divine
03-11-2007, 03:58 AM
Thankyou to all that helped Me, you know who you all are, Thankyou again...

07-03-2007, 04:57 AM
Hi Missing I would suggest you ring the Court House and take it from there unlike the states we could just do Inmate locator. We dont have that here not that i know of.


12-21-2009, 03:20 PM
Not sure whether the Privacy Act applies to legally married partners of inmates, but in most cases you won't receive the info from Police & I'm sure the Court.

That is my experience when I was trying to track down my son, who was in prison at the time.

They always cited the Privacy Act.

12-21-2009, 04:42 PM
the courts should not be able to cite the privacy act because unless it was a closed court or youth or family court it is all public record. if the court was open then they have to tell anyone as it is public. the prisons however do not have to tell you.

12-22-2009, 01:21 AM
If you think you know which prison he is in, I would just ring that prison and assume he is there and ask what his visiting days are. Tis a bit cheeky, but has worked for me in the past. Alternatively, you could send a letter to him at the prison. They wont forward it if he is another jail, or been moved, but usually they will RTS a letter.
The other option that sometimes works, is to Google the person. If they were in the paper it sometimes pops up, or that dreadful sensible sentencing site has a lot of listings.
I hope you find your person :-)