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Support for Family/Whanau of Offenders

Without information about how the Justice System works, what to expect next, or who to turn to for support and information, families can often feel alone and unsupported. Dealing with the court and prison systems can be overwhelming where a family member or friend is involved. Added to this the Privacy Act prevents accessing information about an offender or prisoner.

PARS can assist with information about Justice and Corrections Department procedures and processes; emotional and practical support through arrest; court appearances; bail or remand in custody, and sentencing. This can relieve the stress and worry and enable families to cope better as a family unit and offer more constructive support to the offender.


PARS can help with information, general enquiries and support services to assist family/whanau to minimise anxiety and stress.


Court support workers are available in the Rotorua, Whakatane and Opotiki Courts to assist with information and support for offenders and their family/whanau.

Visiting A Prison

A transport service is available for visitors to Waikeria and Tongariro Prisons on Saturdays of each month except January. Transport may be available at other times where booking numbers permit. Contact the office for further information and to arrange a booking.

Please note: Prison procedure requires "Visitor Approval Forms" for adults and children to be completed before a prison visit can be arranged.

Child Travel Funding

A Child Travel Fund provided by the Department of Corrections and administered by PARS is available on request for children with a parent in prison. Applications need to be made at least 5 working days in advance of the scheduled visit.

During a Prison Sentence

Ongoing emotional, social and practical support is available for family/whanau.

Programmes are available at various times.

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