Auckland South Corrections Facility (Kohuora)
Kohuora, Auckland South Corrections Facility opened in May 2015 and holds up to 960 sentenced male prisoners. Kohuora is operated by Serco under a 25 year agreement with the Department of Corrections.
Information for COVID-19 Alert Level 2
Are there men in Kohuora with COVID-19?
There have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in any New Zealand prison. We are taking a deliberately cautious approach and continue to monitor all men closely for any symptoms.
How are you preventing the spread of COVID-19 in prisons?
Our number one priority is to keep everyone in Kohuora safe and well. We are working closely with Ara Poutama Aotearoa (Department of Corrections) to prevent the spread of the virus across prisons.
Under Alert Levels 3 and 4 we restricted or stopped many activities in Kohuora, including visits. Under Alert Level 2, we continue to:
- Monitor the health status of everyone entering Kohuora, daily
- Isolate new men arriving in Kohuora, whether from courts or another prison
- Support lawyers to email or telephone their clients or use AVL facilities where appropriate
- Promote safe hygiene practices with staff and men, including frequent and thorough hand washing with soap and water or hand sanitiser
- Promote physical distancing where possible
- Provide personal protection equipment (PPE) and advise staff when and how this must be used
- Increase our cleaning programme to ensure all surfaces are cleaned thoroughly and with greater frequency than under normal circumstances.
Will my family member be safe during the lockdown/COVID-19 outbreak?
We’re doing everything we can to keep people safe.
We’re encouraging people in prison to keep 2m apart wherever possible, wash their hands frequently, cough and sneeze into their elbow, discard used tissues, talk to staff if they are unwell and carry out additional cleaning to keep their cells hygienic.
Men over 70 years old and those who are vulnerable due to underlying health conditions have been identified and work is ongoing to ensure their wellbeing.
What plans are in place if someone in prison gets COVID-19?
If we think anyone in prison may have COVID-19, we will isolate them immediately. Our nurses will treat any symptoms they have, and we will arrange for them to be tested for COVID-19. Anyone else who has had close contact with that person (within 2 metres for more than 15 minutes) will also be isolated – this includes staff and the men in our care.
Can we visit our men under Level 2 restrictions?
We are delighted to inform you that personal visits have resumed in Kohuora. There are some important changes to our visits process which you need to know.
Each visit will be limited to 16 prisoners. Each man can have two visitors, including children. This allows us to keep a safe distance between groups.
When you arrive in the visitor centre to register for your visit, you will be asked to provide your contact details. These will be recorded on a contact tracing register, to help the Ministry of Health if someone becomes unwell. The visit will not go ahead if you don’t agree to give us your contact details.
If you are feeling unwell, please do not come to Kohuora. As you walk through the Gatehouse, you will have your temperature checked by thermal cameras. Anyone with a temperature of 38oC or higher will not be allowed in.
Each prisoner will wear a mask throughout the visit. Your visit will be terminated immediately if the mask is removed and you do not keep your distance from other groups.
You may hug in the visit but no kissing or hongi is allowed.
Between every visit session, cleaners will sanitise all surfaces, including chairs and door handles, in the visits hall and the visitor centre.
How can I keep in touch with my family member in prison?
Every man in Kohuora receives a $5 credit to his account each week so he can call you provided you are on his contact list. All but a few men in Kohuora have phones in their cells and all have the opportunity to make phone calls every day.
You can email men in Kohuora at email@example.com. Please include the full name, PRN and House Block number or Residence of the man you are emailing in the subject line. The men do not have access to email, but we will print your emails and give them to him.
There is no limit to the number of letters you can write to the men, although please note that there may be a delay in mail getting to them.
Will people who are due to be released still be released during lockdown?
Yes. It’s important to us that we don’t compromise the health, safety and wellbeing of anyone who is being released, our staff, or our wider communities. We are working with these people to make sure they have pre-release plans in place that comply with current restrictions. This includes making sure they have safe accommodation options which allow them to self-isolate.
On release from prison, a person may be required to comply with conditions imposed by the Courts or New Zealand Parole Board and their compliance with these conditions will continue to be closely monitored by Community Corrections.
Are there enough beds if you need to isolate people?
Our staff are extremely experienced in managing a range of issues which impact which units or cells we place the men in. We can manage appropriate placements, including for anyone who requires isolation.
Will the men still have access to lawyers? Will legal visits and ongoing communication with clients in prison continue? Is AVL an option?
Legal visits will go ahead under Level 2. Lawyers and JPs can contact clients by telephone or email, or AVL where available.
What happening with Parole hearings?
To the maximum extent possible, Parole Board hearings will be via AVL. Support people can’t attend, but they can provide their submissions in writing.
Information for friends and whānau
How can I find out if a prisoner is in Kohuora?
We are unable to confirm if any individual is held in Kohuora. In accordance with the Privacy Act 1993, the written consent of a prisoner is required before their personal information and location can be released to any requestor. You will either be told by the prisoner where he is held or you can call the Department of Corrections on 04 460 3000. The Department will then submit a request to the prisoner if they are in custody.
Staying in touch
How do I stay in touch with someone at Kohuora?
It’s important for prisoners to stay in touch with family and friends. There are many ways prisoners can do this, through arranging visits, calling friends and family, writing letters and receiving emails.
Each prisoner has a unique PRN number. Please take note of this number, as it will speed up correspondence and deposits into his trust account. Only the prisoner can tell you his PRN number.
It is the prisoner’s responsibility to arrange to have your phone number approved. We will check that you are happy to receive calls from the prison, and your number will then be added to the prisoner’s list of approved numbers to call.
Prisoners must pay for the calls they make. The cost of calls is:
|Local calls||$1 for up to 15 minutes|
|National calls||40 cents per minute|
|Calls to cellphones||49 cents per minute|
You can also email prisoners in Kohuora. If a prisoner would like you to email him, he will give you the email address. Prisoners do not have access to email, but we will print your emails and give them to the prisoner.
There is no limit to the number of letters you can write to prisoners. Please clearly address the envelope with the prisoner’s full name and our postal address, which you will find at the top of this page. We search all the mail we receive for contraband, inappropriate photos or gang content. You may send photos to prisoners, but any inappropriate photos will be returned.
General visit information
We know how important visits are to you and to prisoners. At Kohuora, we uphold the value of Manaakitanga. This means that we will treat you respectfully and courteously at all times. Our staff are here to help you, so please feel free to ask for assistance.
Visits take place Wednesday to Sunday. Each prisoner has one visit a week. Visit booking requests are made by the prisoner, not the visitor.
Everyone over the age of 16 must apply to become an approved visitor. Application forms can be picked up from the Visitor Centre or sent to you by a prisoner. The application process takes up to 10 business days to complete. You must make a new application for each prisoner you wish to visit.
Once you are confirmed as an approved visitor, the prisoner you want to visit will book your visits and tell you the time and day of your visit.
You can bring children with you, but every person over 16 must be an approved visitor confirmed to attend each specific visit.
There is free car parking at Kohuora.
For further queries about visits, please email: ASCF.firstname.lastname@example.org
To book a legal visit please email: ASCF.email@example.com
What to expect on your visit
The first time you visit Kohuora, you must register at the Visitor Centre. This is to enable staff to enrol you on our computer system, called CMS. Please arrive at least 45 minutes before your first scheduled visit to allow sufficient time for enrolment. To enrol you into CMS, we will check that you have been approved to visit the prisoner, scan your finger print and take your photo.
Our staff must sight your current photo ID and ensure your details are correct. The following options are accepted:
|Drivers licence||Bankcard (with photo)||Passport|
|Student ID card||
SuperGold card (with photo)
Or a statutory declaration with a passport sized photograph which has been signed by the person signing the statutory declaration, plus an original birth certificate.
Once you have been enrolled into CMS, you will be able to visit the prison without providing proof of identity on each visit.
Bringing possessions into prison
You may not bring personal possessions into the prison. Please leave these locked in your car or in a locker at the Visitor Centre. Note, locker space is very limited.
Our prison is completely smoke-free. Smoking is not permitted anywhere in Kohuora and cigarettes or other tobacco products cannot be brought into the prison.
If you need to bring medication with you, please include this information in your Visitor Application Form. Approval to bring in the medication must be obtained prior to your visit.
You may bring baby bottles with formula or milk only, not juice. As we provide nappies and wipes, you will not be permitted to bring these into the visits area. We also have a small range of books and toys for children to use in the visits area so no toys may be brought in. There is a baby changing room, which includes an area for breast feeding your baby, if required. There is no prisoner access to this area. The visits area has an external yard for children to play in, weather permitting.
Keeping everyone safe
It is important that Kohuora is a safe and secure environment for everyone who comes here. Outside the prison are signs reminding you not to bring in prohibited items, like drugs, alcohol and weapons. The car you arrive in may be searched and you will enter Kohuora through airport-like security. You may also be searched with a scanner. Drug detector dogs may be present during your visit.
Our CCTV system is operating at all times.
Visitors are asked to wear reasonable and appropriate clothing. Gang clothing and gang related colours are not permitted in the prison.
During the visit
The visits area is a family environment and children will be present. If there is inappropriate behaviour or language, your visit may be stopped. If there is any attempt to pass items to a prisoner or receive items from them, you may lose the right to visit and you may be arrested.
All prisoners are expected to remain in their allocated seats throughout the visit. Staff will be present in the room throughout visiting times.
Most visits are contact visits: you will be seated with the person you are visiting. Some visits will be non-contact or booth visits: you will sit in a cubicle and there will be a window between the two of you. You will not be able to touch each other, but you can clearly hear and talk to each other.
After the visit
You and your children will be escorted out of the prison. Please remember to collect any belongings you left in the Visitor Centre lockers and return the key to staff.
Compassionate escort and special family extended visits
In some circumstances, prisoners may be granted a compassionate escort, for example, where there is serious illness or to attend a funeral of a close family member. It is important to allow as much time as possible to arrange a compassionate escort.
The visit may be granted if escorting officers accompany the prisoner. The family or the prisoner must agree to meet the cost of the escorting officers. The actual cost is assessed in each individual case.
A compassionate release application form must be filled out by the prisoner.
Special family extended visit
A special family/whānau visit is a visit arranged under exceptional circumstances, where the visit could not reasonably be expected to meet standard visiting conditions. These visits must be approved by the Deputy Director or Assistant Director Custodial. Examples where a special visit may be granted include:
- To help prisoners make necessary arrangements for unresolved private matters, where it has not been possible to do so prior to their reception into custody, for example, issues with Child Youth and Family (CYF)
- When a family member is seriously ill or if a prisoner has not been granted permission to attend a tangi or funeral of a close family member
- For a prisoner who is seriously ill.
Depositing money into a prisoner's trust account
How do I deposit money into a prisoner's trust account?
Each prisoner has a bank account to purchase small items from the canteen and pay for phone calls to approved phone numbers. The maximum amount allowed in their account is $200. The maximum a prisoner can spend each week is $70.
Prisoners can earn money by working in a variety of jobs in prison. Whānau, family and friends can also deposit money into the prisoner’s trust account. When you make a deposit, please include the following information in the fields available to be seen by the payee – ASCF
- Prisoner PRN number. The prisoner will tell you what his PRN is. This is the most important information to include on the form. Without this number, there may be a delay in transferring the funds to the prisoner’s account.
- Prisoner’s surname
- Prisoner’s first name
- Prisoner’s middle name or alias.
How you can make deposits:
- Internet banking. Account number 01 1839 0222164 04
- Deposit money at the Visitor Centre, Eftpos only. We do not accept cash.
- Visit any ANZ branch. Account number 01 1839 0222164 04
- For payments made overseas by direct credit, please use SWIFT code ANZBNZ22. Please note overseas deposits may incur additional bank fees. You will also need to provide the following information:
- Account number 01 1839 0222164 04
- Account Name Serco New Zealand Ltd ATF-ASCF Prisoner Trust.
Payments are processed daily, so if you have included the PRN number, the prisoner can expect to have the funds in his account within two business days.
When a prisoner moves from ASCF to another prison, any funds available in his account will be transferred to the facility’s Trust account.
When a prisoner is released, any funds remaining in his account will be refunded to him.
For further queries about prisoner accounts, please email: TrustAccountsASCF@serco-ap.com.
Prisoner clothing is provided by Kohuora. All property brought into the prison, including reading material, must have an authorised property approval form. This is completed by the prisoner, authorised by Property staff and will then be posted to the friend or family member who will arrange to bring the items to Kohuora. Please bring the property authorisation form with you.
You can either mail the items to Kohuora (see postal address at the top of this page) or bring them to the Kohuora Visitor Centre at the following times:
Monday: 9.30am to 12.00 pm
12.30pm to 3.30 pm
Tuesday: 9.30am to 12.00 pm
12.30pm to 3.30 pm
Gang coloured clothing is prohibited.
ASCF holds 960 sentenced prisoners. We are committed to providing purposeful engagement opportunities for all men within our facility. We focus on eight key pathways that are designed to meet the needs of each individual. We believe that by supporting the men in these eight areas, we can help them to reduce their likelihood of reoffending.
All prisoners are allocated to the accommodation pathway to ensure that they leave prison with somewhere to stay.
We have developed relationships with community agencies such as the Grace Foundation, Anglican Action, and Salvation Army, which provide accommodation to men on release from prison.
Alcohol and drugs
Many men in custody have a history of drug or alcohol use that has contributed to their offending behaviour. We have programmes available on site designed to support men learn more about their substance use and develop skills for reducing or ending their problematic alcohol or drug using behaviours. We enable external agencies such as Community Alcohol and Drug Services (CADS) and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) to provide support services to our men while in custody, and we support men to enter the Drug Treatment Units in other prisons, if this is on their sentence plan.
Attitudes, thinking and behaviour
Many men in prison have attitudes and beliefs that put them at risk of reoffending. Some men have poor problem solving skills that can result in poor decision making.
We offer programmes that are designed to challenge men’s attitudes and provide them with the skills to alter their thinking and make better decisions to deter them from reoffending.
Children, families and whānau
We acknowledge the far-reaching impact that offending and imprisonment has on men and their families. Our Children and Families team is dedicated to supporting the families of husbands, fathers and sons who are serving their sentence with us. Through our programmes, men can reconnect with their families, repair damaged relationships or work towards maintaining their relationships whilst incarcerated.
We offer a number of programmes such as Building Awesome Whānau, and hold whānau days, where families are encouraged to spend quality time together.
We also support advocacy for families with CYF involvement – including children in care or in custody.
Health and wellbeing
All prisoners have access to medical physiotherapy and dental assessment, support and treatment. Our focus is to promote health and wellbeing. The range of assessments includes physical health, mental health, head injury screening and addressing any other health issues that might arise for the men.
Employment (education and training)
We encourage men to take advantage of the employment and education opportunities at Kohuora. We have unit based employment as well as positions in the Kitchen, Canteen, Laundry, Building and Construction, Grounds, Horticulture and Physical Education.
Prisoners can gain qualifications (some to NZQA Unit Standard Level 4) in:
Some men will also have the opportunity for Release to Work.
Kohuora offers a range of educational courses including Foundation Skills, Numeracy and Literacy, ESOL, Legal Education, and Driver Licensing. We also provide a variety of Creative Arts classes and Open Polytechnic courses which assist the men in obtaining National Certificates in Employment Skills.
A library is also available onsite containing a diverse selection of books for our men.
Finance, benefits and debt
Many men in custody have experienced financial hardship. To enable men to provide for themselves and their families, we offer courses such as Budgeting Skills, Financial Literacy and Gambling Help. The Reintegration Team has developed links with a range of community support services such as the Problem Gambling Foundation NZ.
It is recognised that men are more likely to achieve their goals and remain substance and offence free if they have the support of positive people around them. The Kohuora Reintegration Team is committed to developing relationships with external community agencies that can provide support to men upon their release. These include church groups, marae groups, community health and wellbeing programmes.