Contact with the outside world

All prisoners have the right to receive visits


The visitation right may be denied to prisoners in cell confinement.

The procedure to request visits is quite time consuming. Visitors who are aged 16 or over have to fill an application form first. Prison staff assess each application and make a recommendation to the prison manager. If the application is approved, an approval letter is sent and visitors can then book a time.

Special visits can be arranged for occasions such as family visits from overseas and the bereavement of a loved one.

People eligible to visit

family members and friends

The Prison Operation Manual allows prisoners to have at least one approved private visitor per week, for a minimum duration of 30 minutes.

Visits can take place in a visiting room or in a booth.

Prisoners and visitors can meet without physical barriers


When visits take place in the visiting room, prisoners are allowed to hug or kiss their relatives when greeting and before leaving but staff are present in the room for monitoring.

No body contact is possible during a booth visit. Booth visits are used as sanctions for inmates that have tested positive to drugs.

Conjugal visits are allowed


Friends and family can bring food items only if the prison manager authorizes it.

Existing laws and policies do not allow for prisoners to be placed near their family.

Keeping family ties can be difficult for families that live far from one of the four youth units where young offenders are held.

However, “[T]he SPT noted appreciatively that one residence was considering assisting young Maoris from distant geographical regions to maintain social and family bonds1.

  1. UN Subcommittee for the Prevention of Torture, CAT/OP/NZL/1, May 2014, p. 18 

Prisoners are allowed to exchange mail


Inmates can buy stamps.

Prisoners are allowed to make external phone calls


Prisoners can buy phone cards.

The phones are located


The South Auckland Correctional Facility (Wiri) put phones inside cells.