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PRISON RULES IN AUSTRALIA
In every Australian prison, there are rules which need to be followed. This applies to, of course, the inmates, but it also applies to visitors.

Please note: The mentioned rules are only a guide. For more information please contact the correctional facility you wish to visit directly, or contact the Department of Corrections in your state.

Visitor Rules

  • Any visitor is not be under the influence of alcohol or drugs

  • Each visitor is required to provide sufficient identification. Usually a drivers license, proof of age card, and passport are the most common type of identification provided. You can also use a birth certificate, healthcare card, pension card, a bill in your name, a current vehicle registration certificate, a marriage certificate, or a bank debit or credit card. You will however, have to supply three of these forms of identification

  • No drugs, alcohol, weapons or any other kind of contraband is to be entered into the prison. You may be asked to submit to a search of your person and property (Including children and babies) before entering the prison and even when leaving. Refusal could result in the visit terminated and/or further visits refused. In some cases, you may even be charged, depending on the contraband you were trying to take inside the jail.

  • No money is to be given directly to the prisoner. However, you will be able to put money into the prisoners account but the amount and the way money can be deposited will vary between centres so it is a good idea to call ahead if you are a first time visitor

  • If you take children with you while visiting an inmate, you must remember they are your responsibility, and if they become disruptive, some centres may ask that you leave

  • On contact visits, you are allowed to kiss and cuddle the prisoner, but if the behaviour becomes inappropriate, you will be asked to leave

  • You are not allowed to join other groups while visiting an inmate, even if you know them. If you wish you visit more than one inmate, you need to book a separate visiting time. However, with prior approval by the Governor and under special circumstances, you may be allowed to visit with two related inmates at the same time

  • Visiting times and visiting frequency will vary from centre to centre. It is always a good idea to call ahead and check on times before making the trip as it can be quite upsetting if you are refused a visit. While on visits though, the Visits Officer will let you know when your time is up

  • You are not allowed to move tables and chairs

  • You are not allowed to pass any item to an inmate that has not been previously approved

  • If you break any law, you will be made to leave the centre, and reported to police

  • Sometimes you will not be able to have a contact visit with an inmate. You will be given a non-contact visit instead which takes place inside a cubicle with a transparent screen between the both of you. These visits can be monitored, and sometimes either filmed, taped or both

  • What you can actually take inside the prison with you will depend on the centre, but as a general rule, less is better. In maximum security prisons, you will not be allowed to take anything at all inside the visiting room, including wallets, handbags, watches, jewellery, cigarettes, sunglasses, prams or food and drink. Each centre is different, but there will be locker facilities provided for you to lock up your belongings before entering.

Remember to always check with the facility you are visiting if you are unsure of anything that is expected of you. Each centre is different, and have different rules. Any breach in procedure will almost definitely result in visits being stopped and/or criminal proceedings. The rules are set to protect all visitors, and the inmates.

Inmate Rules and Procedures

Discipline in correctional centres is primarily the responsibility of governors, who are in charge of the institutions. The ways in which discipline is to be imposed and maintained are set out in the Prison Regulations, which are based on the Correctional Centres Act 1952, and the Prison Rules.

The Prison Regulations list a number of offences against correctional centre discipline, including:

  • Concealment for purpose of escape

  • Possession of articles for use in escape or other offences

  • Obstruction of Correctional Officers

  • Fighting

  • Assaults

  • Riots

  • Injuring animals

  • Damaging Property

  • Throwing articles

  • Unauthorised alteration or possession of prison property

  • Stealing

  • Tampering of Food or Drink

  • Tattooing

  • Gambling

  • Consumption or making of alcohol

  • Use of drugs

  • Smoking in non-smoking area's

  • Bribery

Some of these offences may be dealt with by the correctional centre governor. The governor has the power, if the offence is proved, to confine the offender to his or her cell for a maximum of three days.

Offences may also be dealt with by a magistrate, known as a Visiting Justice, who visits a correctional centre for that purpose. The Visiting Justice has the power to confine an offender to his or her cell for a maximum of 28 days.

Escapees, after their recapture, are usually held in maximum security and can face an additional sentence if found guilty by the courts.

The daily correctional centre timetable is strictly adhered to. There are some differences in these timetables, particularly between minimum, medium and maximum security institutions. The daily routine is different at weekends from normal working days.

There is some overlapping between measures to ensure security and those to maintain good order and discipline. For example, inmates' letters may be opened and inspected for possible contraband. They are read if it is suspected the contents may adversely affect the security or the good order and discipline of the correctional centre. The number and type of personal possessions an inmate may keep in his or her cell are determined by the Governor.

When entering a correctional centre for the first time an inmate must hand over all personal items he or she has in his or her possession at the time.

Both discipline and security are maintained by continual searching of all areas of correctional centres, including cells, and the inmates themselves.

Under the Prison Regulations, inmates are bound to adhere to basic hygiene and personal cleanliness. They are required to keep their cells, clothing and bedding in good order and neatly arranged. They must wear correctional centre clothing issued to them, unless granted special permission to do otherwise.

A prisoner must obey a governor's instructions concerning washing, bathing, shaving and the cutting of hair.

The governor, or any officer nominated by him or her, has the right to inspect, but not read, documents brought into a correctional centre by a barrister, solicitor or solicitor's clerk.

Drugs, including alcohol, are strictly forbidden in correctional centres. The exceptions are tobacco and drugs prescribed by doctors for medical reasons. Although there are restrictions on the areas where both inmates and correctional staff may smoke.

Please note: All institutions are different, and these regulations and procedures are only a guide.

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All information is Copyright 1997 - 2006 'Foreign Prisoner Support Service' unless stated otherwise - Click here for the legal stuff
All information is Copyright 1997 - 2006 'Foreign Prisoner Support Service' unless stated otherwise - Click here for the legal stuff