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Procedure Properties

Title: Photographs of Prisoners
Category: Custodial Operations - Standard Operating Procedures
Version: 01
Implement Date: 19 July 2012
Application: Custodial Operations
Availability: Public


Corrective Services Act 2006, ss 10, 265, 341

Appendices and Forms

Associated Custodial Operations Standard Operating Procedures

Local Procedures

Agency Procedures

Review Date: May 2016

Ownership: Custodial Operations

Custodial Operations Standard Operating Procedure - Photographs of Prisoners

Performance Standard
1.Procedure Requirements
2.High and Low Security Facilities
3.Storage of Prisoner Photographs
4.Format and Content of Prisoner Photographs
4.1Photograph file format
4.2Photograph content
5.Destruction of Prisoner Photographs
6.Use of Cameras
7.Taking a Prisoner Photograph for Personal Use
7.1Process for taking an approved prisoner photograph for personal use
8.Provision of Prisoner Photographs to a Law Enforcement Agency

Performance Standard

A process is in place that provides for the accurate identification of a prisoner by recording and maintaining a current image of the prisoner. This is in accordance with-

Safety and Security - Our Principles

Refer - Safety and Security - Our Principles (in-confidence)

Chief Inspector Healthy Prisons 2007

Refer - Healthy Prisons Handbook

Standard Guidelines for Corrections in Australia

Refer - Standard Guidelines for Corrections in Australia revised 2004


Corrective Services Act 2006 (CSA), ss 10, 265, 341

1. Procedure Requirements

The photograph of a prisoner must be taken-

  1. upon admission;
  2. subsequently at intervals of no more than two years; and
  3. if there is a significant change in the prisoner's appearance (eg. the addition or removal of facial hair, a new scar or tattoo, noticeable weight gain or loss or aging).

The photograph must be recorded by digital media and stored with the prisoner's physical description on the Integrated Offender Management System (IOMS). Refer procedure - Admission

A case officer should regularly check a prisoner's photograph on IOMS to ensure currency.

2. High and Low Security Facilities

When a prisoner is received at a corrective services facility, a new prisoner photograph must be taken.

When a prisoner leaves a corrective services facility for any reason, the processing officer must compare the prisoner's current appearance with the photograph on IOMS. If there is a significant change in the prisoner's appearance, a new photograph must be taken by a corrective services officer and recorded on IOMS. A new removal order should also be generated for the prisoner to ensure a current photograph of the prisoner is recorded on the order.

3. Storage of Prisoner Photographs

A current photograph of a prisoner must be stored-

  1. in IOMS; and
  2. in the secured network directory located on the server created by DCS Information and Communication Systems (ICS).

Digital prisoner photographs must not be kept or stored elsewhere without prior approval by-

  1. the general manager of a corrective services facility, or
  2. the manager, QCS Intelligence Group, or
  3. the Director, ICS.

The digital prisoner photograph stored in IOMS must be used when printing a prisoner photograph or producing a prisoner identification card. Refer standard operating procedure - Personal Identification

Whenever a prisoner photograph is taken, a new identification card must be issued. All current documentation that incorporates an earlier version of the prisoner's photograph must be updated with this new photograph.

Whenever a prisoner photograph is taken, the photograph must be saved-

  1. in IOMS; and
  2. replace any existing digital prisoner photograph file located in the secured network directory. Past digital prisoner photograph files must not be kept in the secured network directory.

A prisoner photograph must be deleted from the digital camera and camera-related media such as floppy disks and memory sticks and from any other storage area once stored in IOMS.

The storage and handling of prisoner photographs must comply with procedure - Information Security (in-confidence)

4. Format and Content of Prisoner Photographs

Refer appendix - Prisoner Identification Card Format

4.1 Photograph file format

A prisoner photograph must be recorded in JPEG format (as a JPG file) at a minimum size and resolution of 640x480 pixels.

4.2 Photograph content

Refer appendix - Guidelines for Digital Prisoner Photographs

A prisoner photograph must-

  1. include an image of the prisoner within an area of 4 cm by 3 cm;
  2. be colour neutral, with no coloured lighting or reflected light affecting the photograph;
  3. be taken with uniform lighting and not show shadows, flash reflections on the prisoner's face or red eye. The camera flash should be used, with a red-eye option if available;
  4. be taken against a plain, light-coloured background (preferably grey), without scales, measures or markings, and without shadows behind the prisoner's head. The prisoner must be standing or sitting immediately in front of the background and no more than 30 cm from it;
  5. be taken with the camera directly level with the prisoner's face;
  6. be taken in portrait not landscape;
  7. be a close up of the prisoner's head and top of the shoulders, so that the prisoner's face takes up 70-80% of the photograph. (A distance of approximately one metre between the camera and the prisoner will generally result in the right proportions, although camera focus can vary this);
  8. include the prisoner's facial features from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head, with both ears and edges of the face clearly shown. Head coverings must not be worn unless approved by the general manager of the corrective services facility based on significant religious or cultural reasons;
  9. show the prisoner facing square on to the camera, looking directly at the camera and displaying a neutral facial expression;
  10. show the prisoner's eyes open and clearly visible and not obscured by hair or glasses. If the prisoner wears glasses, the photograph must show the eyes clearly with no flash reflection on the glasses. Glasses that have heavy frames or tinted lenses that obscure the eyes should be removed; and
  11. not include prisoner data (for example an IOMS number, name, date of birth or date of the photograph) on a board displayed in the photograph or by editing of the photograph. Where necessary, appropriate data will be inserted underneath photographs when printed.

5. Destruction of Prisoner Photographs

Refer CSA, s 10

Photographs of a prisoner taken during a period in custody must be destroyed if the prisoner is released from custody in the following circumstances-

  1. the prisoner is acquitted of all charges for which the prisoner is remanded, for reasons other than unsoundness of mind;
  2. all charges for which the prisoner is remanded are withdrawn or dismissed; or
  3. all convictions of the prisoner are over turned.

Note: This does not apply if the period in custody includes time served for a conviction that has not been overturned, or on remand for a charge that is not dismissed or acquitted.

6. Use of Cameras

Refer procedure - Use of Information and Communication Technology Facilities and Devices

The loss of, or damage to, a digital camera or digital content must be reported in accordance with procedure - Reporting Information and Communications Technology Security Problems

7. Taking a Prisoner Photograph for Personal Use

Taking a prisoner photograph for personal use is prohibited unless-

  1. exceptional circumstances are demonstrated by a prisoner;
  2. the exceptional circumstances are confirmed; and
  3. approval for taking the photograph is provided in writing by the general manager of the corrective services facility.

In determining exceptional circumstances, the general manager must consider-

  1. the prisoner's profile;
  2. the prisoner length of sentence;
  3. the prisoners discharge/release date;
  4. custodial history;
  5. intelligence information;
  6. the prisoner's stated reason for the photograph to be taken;
  7. intended recipient of the photograph;
  8. stated reason for providing the photograph to the recipient; and
  9. any other factor the general manager considers of relevance.

A nominated recipient of an approved prisoner photograph for personal use must be contacted and provide consent to receiving the photograph.

7.1 Process for taking an approved prisoner photograph for personal use

The following applies to the taking of an approved prisoner photograph for personal use-

  1. a prisoner must apply in writing on a prisoner request form for approval by the general manager for a personal photograph to be taken. The application must outline -

    1. an exceptional circumstance for the taking of the photograph
    2. intended recipient of the photograph
    3. reason why the photograph should be provided to the recipient
    4. whether the recipient has agreed to receive the photograph;

  2. approved prisoner request forms must be placed on the prisoner's Offender Management File;
  3. a prisoner must be dressed in accordance with standard prison uniform requirements (there must be no non-QCS graphics/text identifiable on the clothing) which ensures that all tattoos are covered from below the neck. Any change to these requirements must be specifically approved by the general manger;
  4. prisoners must present in a responsible and mature manner when having the photograph (eg. refrain from any hand symbols or gestures that could be taken to be of a gang related statement);
  5. all photographs must be taken by a member of staff approved by the general manager;
  6. no other prisoner may be the subject of the photograph; and
  7. the processing of prisoner photographs avoids the use of a third party where possible. For example- a digital camera with a SD memory card is used by a staff member to print prisoner photos at a self use digital photo processing centre.

When processed, prisoner photographs for personal use will be placed into the prisoners

property and the prisoner will be notified. Refer standard operating procedure Property

of Prisoners for issuing of personal property and hand out of personal property.

8. Provision of Prisoner Photographs to a Law Enforcement Agency

A photograph of a prisoner may be provided to a law enforcement agency (eg. Queensland Police Services) by an authorised delegate, refer CSA, s 341 and Instrument of Delegation of Chief Executive Powers.

Endorsed by:


Deputy Commissioner, Statewide Operations

Approved by:


Version History

17/07/2012 - Version 01