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.
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
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
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
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
Obstruction of Correctional Officers
Unauthorised alteration or possession of
Tampering of Food or Drink
Consumption or making of alcohol
Use of drugs
Smoking in non-smoking area's
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 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
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.