The New Zealand Penal Settlement was a Federation minimum-security penal colony located in New Zealand on Earth. Despite being minimum-security, the settlement held many Maquis and other traitors to the Federation.
The settlement was fairly open, with no walls or other physical barriers surrounding the colony. A transporter inhibitor field kept inmates from being beamed away from the settlement without authorization, and airspace around the settlement was restricted. Inmates were tracked closely by the settlement computer systems. However, as long as inmates followed the rules, settlement guards and staff tended to be hands off in their dealings with them. Any inmates who did try to escape or violate other settlement rules were remanded to the enhanced detention section, also known as "the box." As of 2256 no one had been in the box for over five years. (DSC novel: Drastic Measures)
Sentences being served at the settlement by inmates ranged from just a few months all the way up to life imprisonment. (DS9 episode: "Doctor Bashir, I Presume"; ST - The Fall novel: Peaceable Kingdoms)
Alexander Simmons was sentenced to a term of 20 years imprisonment for his actions leading up to the massacre on Tarsus IV. Due to his cooperating with Starfleet in hunting down former Governor Kodos, Simmons was sent to the settlement rather than a penal colony such as Elba II. A model inmate, Simmons personally appealed to the settlement director not to be paroled early, feeling that he should have to serve every minute of his 20 year sentence for his actions. Simmons acted as a mentor to new inmates, and helped provide security training for officers stationed at the settlement. (DSC novel: Drastic Measures)
Former Lieutenant Commander Benjamin Finney served time at the settlement after his 2267 attempt to frame Captain James T. Kirk for murder and destroy the USS Enterprise failed. Captain Kirk visited him in the year 2293, before his fateful voyage on the USS Enterprise-B. By then Finney was due to be released and planned to live with his daughter Jamie and her wife. (TOS novel: The Autobiography of James T. Kirk)
In 2369, Tom Paris began an 18-month sentence at the settlement, following his arrest for betraying Starfleet and joining the Maquis. His sentence was cut short when he agreed to help Captain Kathryn Janeway and the USS Voyager locate the Maquis vessel Val Jean. (VOY episode: "Caretaker")
Following his unsuccessful attempt of a military coup in 2372, Admiral James Leyton was sentenced to serve five years in the settlement for his actions. In 2374, Captain Benjamin Sisko visited his former captain in the prison. (DS9 novel: Hollow Men)
In 2373, Richard Bashir was sentenced to serve two years in the settlement after it was discovered that he had his son, Julian Bashir, genetically engineered. (DS9 episode: "Doctor Bashir, I Presume")