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Part Two: St Catherine Adult Correctional Centre and Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre


if an inmate is found guilty of a ‘major correctional centre offence’20


on an inquiry before the


Commissioner of Corrections, the Commissioner may impose any or all of the following punishments:


(a) reduction of diet to No. 1 punishment diet for any period not exceeding fourteen consecutive days;


(b) reduction of diet to No. 2 punishment diet for any period not exceeding twenty-one consecutive days;


(c) suspension or postponement of any privileges for any period not exceeding ninety days;


(d) forfeiture of remission for any period not exceeding ninety days;


(e) in the case of the offences of mutiny, incitement to mutiny or taking part in any assault or attack on any member of staff, medical officer or any other person providing health care to inmates, solitary confinement for a period not exceeding ninety days and, if the Governor-General in his discretion so approves, the loss of the whole or any period of remission.


Upon being found guilty of a major or minor correctional centre offence21 on an


inquiry before the superintendent of a prison, the superintendent may impose the same punishments, minus the provision for solitary confinement, and with the length of the other punishments being restricted to shorter periods. It is therefore only the Commissioner who has the power under the Corrections Act to impose solitary confinement as a punishment, and then only for a limited class of ‘major’ offences.


Te Act provides procedural safeguards for an inmate punished under the rules. Section 36 specifies that an inmate shall not be punished without having been afforded an opportunity to hear the evidence against him and to make a defence. Section 38 provides an inmate with a right of appeal to the Commissioner from a sentence imposed by a superintendent within 72 hours of such a punishment being ordered. However, it does not appear that there is any provision for a right of appeal from the imposition of a punishment by the Commissioner.


20


Rule 35(4) state that a ‘major correctional centre offence’ means: (a)


(b) (c)


mutiny or incitement to mutiny; escape or attempt to escape;


providing health care to inmates; (d)


(e) (f )


(g) 21


taking part in any assault or attack on any member of the adult correctional centre staff, medical officer or any other person aggravated or repeated assault on any other inmate;


willful destruction of property belonging to the adult correctional centre; willfully causing to himself any illness, injury or disability; persistent repetition of any minor correctional centre offence.


A minor correctional centre offence is any breach of the institution rules, which is not also a major correctional centre offence. 29


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