Corrections Minister Judith Collins says privately managed prisons will have on-site monitors.
Parliament on Tuesday night began debating the Government's plan to allow the contracting out of prison management.
Ms Collins says the department would remain ultimately responsible for any privately managed prison.
She says the department's chief executive would appoint monitors to report on serious incidents such as escapes and deaths and drug testing.
The Government has the numbers to pass the Corrections Amendment Bill with backing from its support partners, ACT and the Maori Party.