Laws dealing with prison inmates and offenders serving community sentences are being updated.
The changes will enable deductions to be made from income derived from inmate employment for their keep.
Other changes will enhance drug testing and search procedures to reduce contraband while new disciplinary sanctions are also introduced.
The department will have a new approval process for the use of new technology or for policy changes to improve security.
In another change, health services in prisons will be recognised in law.
Minister of Corrections Judity Collins says, while the changes are mainly technical, they are important in improving the management of prisoners.