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Procedure Properties

Title: Prisoner Restrictions - Publications, Films, Electronic Game Consoles/Computer Games and CD's
Category: Custodial Operations - Standard Operating Procedures
Version: 01
Implement Date: 25 November 2011
Application: Custodial Operations
Availability: Public

Authority

Associated Custodial Operations Standard Operating Procedures

  • Prisoner Purchasing
  • Property of Prisoners

Policies

  • Instrument of Delegation of Chief Executive Powers - Corrective Services Act 2006 (in-confidence)
  • Instrument of Limitation of Corrective Services Officers' Powers (in-confidence)

Review Date: January 2013

Ownership: Custodial Operations

Custodial Operations Standard Operating Procedure - Prisoner Restrictions - Publications, Films, Electronic Game Consoles/Computer Games and CD's


Performance Standard
Authority
1.Process
1.1National Classification Code (May 2005) and Guidelines for the Classification of Publications 2005
2.Definitions
3.Publications
3.1Prohibited publications
3.2Seizure of a prohibited publication
3.3Factors to consider in determining a publications restrictions
4.Films
4.1DVD and videotape libraries
5.Electronic Game Consoles/Computer Games
5.1Corrective services facility provision of an electronic game consoles/computer games
6.CD's
Level 1
Level 2
Level 3
7.Display of Objectionable Material
8.Sex Offenders
8.1DVD's and videotapes
8.2Exemption for DVDs and videotapes utilized in therapeutic programs
8.3Child sex offenders
9.Copyright
10.Audit Requirements

Performance Standard

A process is established that provides for the management of prisoner access to electronic and print communications/entertainment in compliance with this standard operating procedure. The process must be in accordance with-

Safety & Security - Our Principles, refer - Safety & Security - Our Principles.

Chief Inspector Healthy Prisons 2007 - Standard 25

Prisoners can purchase a suitable range of goods at reasonable prices to meet their diverse needs.

Refer - Healthy Prisons Handbook.

Standard Guidelines for Corrections in Australia Standards - Standard 3.19

Prisoners shall be able to daily access news of the world and keep themselves informed through a variety of media approved by the prison management.

Refer - Standard Guidelines for Corrections in Australia Revised 2004

Authority

Corrective Services Act 2006 (Qld), ss 263 and 265

Corrective Services Regulation 2006, s 19

Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995 (Cth)

Classification of Publications Act 1991 (Qld)

Classification of Films Act 1991 (Qld)

Classification of Computer Games and Images Act 1995 (Qld)

Copyright Act 1968 (Cth)

1. Process

The introduction and display of electronic and print communications/entertainment material in prisons must be controlled.

Queensland Corrective Services (QCS) will reflect community standards and abide by Agency sexual harassment policies by limiting prisoners' access to such material. This must also complement therapeutic interventions in the treatment of prisoners.


QCS recognizes the benefits in providing prisoners with a range of activities, as part of the structured day, that include access to passive recreational activities, including electronic and print communications/entertainment. This will only be permitted where it is determined that the contents of material available for purchase by a prisoner or provision by a corrective services facility is unlikely to impact adversely on the prisoner's sentence plan or rehabilitative needs.

Corrective services facilities must also comply with legal obligations in relation to copyright issues arising from the viewing, by prisoners, of DVDs or videotapes (or other hired or purchased media).

Corrective services facility staff are not expected to view all DVDs or videotapes screened for prisoners. However, all reasonable steps should be taken to make a determination regarding the appropriateness of the content via examination of the title, synopsis, and information normally available to the public (ie television and newspaper reviews). It is acknowledged that there may be occasions where compliance with this standard operating procedure is beyond the control of general managers, for example - where the content is not consistent with the title or synopsis. Where it is established that DVDs or videotapes contain inappropriate content, the screening of such material is to be ceased immediately and the Deputy Commissioner, Custodial Operations advised to ensure state wide notification of other corrective services facilities.

A general manager of corrective services facility may refuse any item covered in this standard operating procedure based on the consideration that the item may pose a risk to the security and good order of the facility.

For prisoner access to personal photographs, refer standard operating procedure - Property of Prisoners, section 3.3.

Items made available for prisoner purchase through standard operating procedure - Purchasing by Prisoners must be in accordance with the requirements of this standard operating procedure.

1.1 National Classification Code (May 2005) and Guidelines for the Classification of Publications 2005

The National Classification Code (May 2005), based on the Guidelines for the Classification of Publications 2005, provides the following classification categories -

Classification categories

Publications

Classification categories are Unrestricted, Category 1 Restricted, Category 2 Restricted, and RC (Refused Classification).

Films

Classification categories are G (General), PG (Parental Guidance), M (Mature), MA 15+ (Mature Accompanied), R 18+ (Restricted), X 18+ (Restricted) and RC (Refused Classification).


Computer games

Classification categories are G (General), PG (Parental Guidance), M (Mature), MA 15+ (Mature Accompanied), and RC (Refused Classification).

2. Definitions

Objectionable material for the purposes of this standard operating procedure, includes the explicit description or display of sexual material in literature, films and other media intended to stimulate erotic rather than aesthetic or emotional feelings and includes any erotic pictorial or media representation of male or female genitalia or women's breasts. Where objectionable material is contained in a publication that may be approved for prisoner purchase, it must not be displayed (refer section 7).

Community standards for publications may be gauged by classification categories which are established under the Commonwealth Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995 and the National Classification Code (May 2005).

Publication means any written or pictorial matter, but does not include:

  1. a film; or
  2. a computer game; or
  3. an advertisement for a publication, a film or a computer game (refer Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995).

Sex offender prisoner charged or convicted of a sexual offence.

Sex offence includes an offence where the commission of the offence includes

circumstances or activities of a sexual nature (Criminal Code Act 1899, Chapters 22 and

32 and Corrective Services Act 2006, Schedules 1 and 4).

Violence includes not only acts of violence, but also the obvious threat of violence or its

result (refer Guidelines for the Classification of Publications 2005).

Violence in a sexual context violence in a sexual context, as distinct from sexual violence,

refers to a relationship between the elements of violence and sex/sexualised nudity. The

relationship may be established by the placement, juxtaposition, style or content of images

and text, and/or by a story-line (refer Guidelines for the Classification of Publications 2005).

3. Publications

3.1 Prohibited publications

Any publication which is classified under the National Classification Code (May 2005) as Item 1 - Refused Classification (RC), Item 2 - Category 2 Restricted, Item 3 - Category 1 Restricted, is a prohibited from being accessed or viewed by a prisoner. This also includes a publication that has yet to be classified.

A publication purchased by a prisoner must be -

  1. generally available from authorised newsagents, bookshops, or other legitimate traders; and classified as 'Unrestricted' material under the National Classification Code (May 2005), refer - Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995.

To assist in determining if a publication is restricted or unrestricted the following website may be of assistance www.moremagazines.com.au.

This section applies to the purchase of publications by prisoners at a work camp who may be permitted to purchase items directly in the community.

3.2 Seizure of a prohibited publication

Where a prisoner is in possession of a prohibited publication or is sent a prohibited publication via prisoner mail, the item must be managed in accordance with CSA ss. 138-142, refer approved forms Form 25 - Receipt for Seized Property and Form 26 - Notice of Forfeit of Seized Thing. If it is not possible to return the prohibited publication to the sender, the item is to be marked 'Not to be Issued' and the prisoner advised the item may be destroyed, unless the prisoner can arrange to send the item out or be collected within 30 days of the notification. A record of all destroyed items is to be kept in a register.

3.3 Factors to consider in determining a publications restrictions

As a result of additional content in a publication, its classification category may vary from month to month, subject to the nature of the material contained. For this reason publications such as Penthouse, Playboy and other similar magazines are not to be made available for prisoner purchase or accepted into a prisoner's property even if currently classified under the National Classification Code (May 2005) as Item 4 - Unrestricted.

In general, most editions of magazines such as People or Picture are unrestricted and could be allowed for prisoner purchase or accepted into a prisoner's property. However, there are versions of these publications that will be prohibited under section 3.1.

To confirm if a publication may be approved for purchase by a prisoner, refer www.moremagazines.com.au.

4. Films

Any film which is classified Item 1 - Refused Classification (RC), Item 2 - X 18+, Item 3 - R 18+, Item 4 MA 15+ is prohibited from being accessed or viewed by a prisoner. This also includes a film that has yet to be classified.

Prisoners are prohibited from purchasing a DVD player, a DVD or any device with a DVD playing capability, refer standard operating procedure - Prisoner Purchasing.

The following applies-

  • no first release (movies yet to be released to the general public) videotapes and DVDs are to be shown in corrective services facilities;
  • no MA, R or X rated DVDs or videotapes are to be shown in corrective services facilities;
  • M rated DVDs or videotapes may be shown as long as they do not contain high levels of violence or sexual content. Prisoners awaiting trial are permitted to possess authorized evidentiary material contained on DVDs or videotapes, following approval by the general manager who will validate the material prior to issuing.

    4.1 DVD and videotape libraries

    Corrective services facilities are not permitted to collect DVDs or videotapes and create libraries unless the DVDs and videotapes are stored for the purposes of education or programs and comply with this standard operating procedure. In these instances, a register is to be created and maintained, to record details including, the title of the DVD or videotape stored, the reason for its use and the date/s the DVD or videotape was screened to prisoners.Corrective services facilities which utilise children's DVDs or videos in a visits area must maintain a list of the movies or programs available.

    5. Electronic Game Consoles/Computer Games

    Prisoners are prohibited from purchasing any type of electronic game playing console or computer game, refer standard operating procedure - Prisoner Purchasing.

    5.1 Corrective services facility provision of an electronic game consoles/computer games

    A general manager of a corrective services facility may approve the purchase of electronic game consoles and computer games for prisoner use in restricted circumstances. Such circumstances may include elderly prisoners in order to access mobility options and youthful prisoners. The general manager must develop and seek authorisation through to the Deputy Commissioner prior to issuing a local procedure in relation to the management of electronic game consoles and computer games for prisoners. The local procedure must include registering the issue and return of devices/games and inspections conducted. Refer standard operating procedure - Youthful Prisoners Electronic game consoles must not have-
    1. any device with a DVD playing capability;
    2. a portable electronic storage device (eg USB key, MP3 player or R/W Ipod); or
    3. a device which enables internet access.

    Any computer game which is classified under the National Classification Code (May 2005) as Item 1 - Refused Classification (RC), Item 2 MA 15+ is prohibited from being accessed or viewed by a prisoner. This also includes a computer game yet to be classified.


    6. CD's

    The Recorded Music Labelling Code of Practice provides the following three levels-

    Level 1

    This product is labelled black and white and contains:

    • Infrequent aggressive or strong coarse language;
    • Moderate impact references to drug use, violence, sexual activity or themes.

    Level 2

    This product is labelled blue and white and contains:

    • Frequent aggressive or strong coarse language;
    • Strong impact references to or detailed description of drug use, violence, sexual activity or themes.

    Level 3

    This product is labelled red and white and contains:

    • Product contains graphic description of drug use, violence, sexual activity or very strong themes, which have a very high degree of intensity and which are high in impact;
    • These products require an adult perspective and are therefore not to be sold to persons under 18 years of age.

    A general manager of a corrective services facility may approve the purchase of Level 1 CD's only.

    7. Display of Objectionable Material

    Refer section 2 for definition of objectionable material.

    Displays of objectionable material must not be permitted in cells, unit day rooms, work areas or any other part of the corrective services facility.

    A prisoner may possess unrestricted material, such as that in section 3.4 above, subject to the other provisions of this standard operating procedure, and provided that it is kept in his/her cell and out of general viewing by other persons.

    8. Sex Offenders

    In keeping with sex offender management strategies, paraphilic material which is deemed likely to lead to deviant sexual arousal is not permitted in the possession of a sex offender, or in units and prison areas occupied by a significant proportion of sex offenders.


    Sex offenders are not permitted to retain pictures of their victims. Where such pictures form part of evidentiary material as the prisoner is preparing for trial, the pictures may be held by staff and made available to the prisoner on a temporary basis upon reasonable request.

    Where the High Risk Offender Management Unit or Sex Offender Program staff so advise, visual or published material (including photographs of children of the prisoner) available to prisoners charged with any sex offences (including offences against adults) may be restricted.

    Clippings of images from print media containing children are not to be retained.

    For advice on any unusual property or items in the possession of sex offenders, Sex Offender Program staff should be contacted.

    8.1 DVD's and videotapes

    Prisoners charged or convicted of a sex offence/s are not to view DVD's and videotapes that have scenes of rape or sexual violence.

    It is acknowledged that prisoners have access to commercial television and it is unreasonable to place a restriction on this form of media. It is important though for staff to monitor television programs during out of cell hours (and where practicable), to determine whether programs for children are being deliberately viewed by child sex offenders. Staff are authorized to direct the prisoner to change the channel or turn the television off.

    Any staff member who has any concerns about the content of a television program and needs clarification should contact a correctional manager.

    8.2 Exemption for DVDs and videotapes utilized in therapeutic programs

    In some instances, videotape and DVD materials classified MA or R may be recommended for use in therapeutic programs delivered in a corrective services facility.

    A programs service delivery officer or external provider may be permitted to show such materials in a facility provided that they are shown only under supervision, to prisoners participating in the therapeutic program.

    Requests to purchase or hire DVDS and videotapes classified MA or R for use in therapeutic programs must be forwarded to the Director, Criminogenic Programs Unit who will investigate the suitability of the material. If approved, the Director, Criminogenic Programs Unit will arrange for the purchase or hire of the materials from an authorised distributor. The Director, Criminogenic Programs Unit must maintain a record of approvals.

    Programs delivery staff must ensure that DVDs and videotapes classified MA or R are kept secure at all times and are not made available to the general prisoner population.

    In these instances, a register is to be created and maintained, to record details of each DVD or videotape stored and the date/s screened to prisoners.

    8.3 Child sex offenders

    In corrective services facility areas occupied by sex offenders who have been charged or convicted with any previous or current sex offences against children, access to television programs which feature children's images or which are targeted at child audiences, is to be restricted where practicable. It is acknowledged that it may not be practicable to limit the viewing of certain shows on free-to-air television after lock-up, but it is anticipated that the watching of children's television shows during unlock hours will be policed. These limitations do not extend to television shows where there may be incidental images of children.

    Pictures of a child sex offender's children must be managed strictly in accordance with standard operating procedure - Property of Offenders (refer section Approved photographs) and/or advice of the High Risk Offender Management Unit or Sex Offender Program staff (refer section 8 of this standard operating procedure).

    9. Copyright

    Corrective services facilities are not in breach of the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) for screening DVD's or videotapes, as long as they notify the copyright owners (such as major distributors) that the DVDS or videotapes are to be screened in a facility.

    The hiring of DVDs and videotapes from local video hire shops is not permitted. Instead, corrective services facilities must hire through major distributors such as 'Village Roadshow' or 'Amalgamated Movies'.

    The recording of any images, text or auditory material from DVDs, videotapes or television for further use is prohibited.

    10. Audit Requirements

    General managers are responsible for ensuring that safeguards in accordance with this standard operating procedure are in place.

    Endorsed by:

    Greg Brown

    Acting Deputy Commissioner, Custodial Operations

    Approved by:





    Marlene Morison
    Acting Commissioner





    Version History

    25/11/2011 Version 01