Home | Browse Topics | Prisoner's rights | Starting your sentence | Prison staff assigned to you and management plan

Prisoner's rights

Starting your sentence

The prison staff assigned to you and your management plan

Every prisoner is assigned a “case manager” – their job is to provide you with support and advice during your prison sentence. You won’t have contact with the case manager every day; instead your regular contact will be with your “case officer”. The case officer is a regular prison officer from within your unit who’s responsible for supervising your management plan.

Developing a “management plan” with your case manager

Corrections Act 2004, ss 51, 52

At some point after you arrive in prison – usually within the first few weeks – you’ll have an interview with your case manager and develop a management plan. This is a plan that’s designed to help you while you’re in prison but that also looks ahead to when you’re released from prison. The plan should address any issues you currently have (“rehabilitation”) so that you can successfully return to the community when you’re released (“reintegration”).

The plan might include:

  • education and training
  • alcohol and drug treatment
  • anger-management counselling
  • parenting courses
  • links to outside services (such as accommodation providers).

For more information on education and training, see “Working, studying and other activities on the inside

How often will I see my case manager?

You won’t have regular contact with your case manager. Instead you’ll have a case officer who’ll be your day-to-day contact for supervising your management plan.

Who is the case officer?

Your case officer will be one of the regular prison officers in your unit (sometimes called a “CO”, for “Corrections Officer”). A case officer will usually be responsible for supervising the management plan of a number of prisoners in the unit.

You’ll find it very helpful for your time in prison if you get along with your case officer. They’ll be your contact point for dealing with your case manager if you have any problems you want your case manager to know about or if there’s something you need to do.

Can I change my case manager and my case officer?

It’s possible to change your case officer if you’re not getting on with them. To do this you’ll need to apply to the principal corrections officer (PCO). You can also apply to have your case manager changed, but this is a lot harder.

Will I have a case manager if I’m only on remand?

This depends. You’ll get a case manager if you’re on remand for a longer period or if you may be getting a long prison sentence. In these cases your management plan won’t be as detailed as for sentenced prisoners, and it will focus on helping you with your return to the community after being released (for example, accommodation support, and parenting programmes).

Did this answer your question?

Starting your sentence

Where to go for more support

Community Law


Your local Community Law Centre can provide initial free legal advice and information.

Also available as a book

Lag Law: Prisoner's Rights

Lag Law answers heaps of common questions you might have if you’re going to prison, you’re in prison, or you’re getting out of prison. It talks about your rights in prison, and sets out the laws and rules that affect you when you’re put in prison . 1 free copy for people in prison and the whānau of someone in prison. If that’s you, email laglaw@wclc.org.nz for your free copy

Buy Lag Law: Prisoner's Rights

Help the manual

We’re a small team that relies on the generosity of all our supporters. You can make a one-off donation or become a supporter by sponsoring the Manual for a community organisation near you. Every contribution helps us to continue updating and improving our legal information, year after year.

Donate Become a Supporter

Find the Answer to your Legal Question

back to top