Survivors of abuse in State care and faith-based institutions have begun sharing their experiences with Abuse in Care Inquiry Commissioners in prisons.

78.7%[1] of people under the age of 20 who started a sentence with Corrections in 2018, have a Care and Protection or Youth Justice background.

Inquiry Commissioner Dr Anaru Erueti says the Inquiry is committed to hearing the voices of survivors in prisons. 

“People in prison have the right to be involved in the largest Inquiry the country has ever had.”

“It is particularly important to reach Māori survivors because we know that Māori are disproportionately overrepresented in both care statistics and in the prison population[2].”

To date, private sessions have been held at three prison sites across the country with survivors who have registered with the Inquiry. Private sessions allow survivors to confidentially share their experiences of physical, and emotional abuse and neglect with individual Commissioners face-to-face.

People in prison, like all survivors who engage with the Inquiry, can access support before, during and after they meet with a Commissioner. This includes tailored face-to-face counselling.

“This is especially crucial in prisons, where people have less access to whānau and well-being support” says Dr Erueti.  “It is expected that private sessions in prisons will continue for the duration of the Inquiry.”  

“We encourage friends and whānau of people in prison who have experienced abuse and neglect in care, to suggest they register with us to share their experience.

“Through hearing from survivors, evidence and research, we will make recommendations to the Government on how New Zealand can better care for children, young people and vulnerable adults.”  

People in prison can access information about the Inquiry on the prison kiosk, from fact sheets and posters and through confidential phone calls to the Royal Commission on 0800 222 727

Media contact: Hannah Grant,, 027 298 2094

[1] Research and Analysis Team, Department of Corrections, 2019.

[2] 51.3% of the prison population are Māori. Department of Corrections, 2019