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Procedure Properties

Title: Prisoner Monies
Category: Prisoner Management
Version: 14
Implement Date: 23 July 2013
Application: Custodial Operations
Availability: Public

Authority

Appendices and Forms

Procedures

  • Trust Accounts Policy Statement
  • Standard Operating Procedure - Prisoner Purchasing
  • Losses Policy Statement
  • Losses Practice Statement
  • Payments to Prisoners on Discharge
  • Receipting (in-confidence)
  • Standard Operating Procedure - Prisoner Telephone System

Policies

  • Financial Management Practice Manual (in-confidence)
  • Instrument of Financial and Travel Delegations (Department of Community Safety) (in-confidence)

Ownership: Custodial Operations

Procedure - Prisoner Monies


Purpose
1.General
1.1Prisoner Trust Funds
2.Public Trustee of Queensland
2.1Prior to discharge
3.Deposits
3.1Managing deposit of funds
3.2International Currency
3.3Funds held in suspense
3.4Deposits of payments under a Government Redress Scheme of up to $7000 (Level 1 Payment)
3.5Deposits of payments under a Government Redress Scheme of over $7000 (Level 2 Payment)
4.Withdrawals
4.1Special requests
4.2Garnishee
4.3Deductions from trust accounts to repay amounts owed under the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 2009
4.4Deductions from trust accounts to reimburse the chief executive for costs arising from wilful damage to property
5.Transfer of prisoners
6.Transfer of monies between prisoners
7.Monthly review
7.1. Positive balances
7.2. Negative balances
7.3Arunta balances
8.Quarterly review
9.Discharge
10.Deceased prisoner

Purpose

To provide for the management of prisoner monies while maintaining the security and good order of the corrective services facility.

1. General

Refer Corrective Services Act 2006, ss. 20, 48, 311-316

The allowable balance for a prisoner's operating account is $1000.

To assist with maintaining the security and good order of the corrective services facility, the general manager of a corrective services facility must ensure that a prisoner is not permitted to have access to monies in excess of $1000.

Funds held in a prisoner's Arunta telephone system account and other prisoner accounts is not to be included to determine the $1000 limit. Suitable controls should be set in place to ensure that the Arunta telephone system account does not exceed $300.

Any incoming monies that would result in the prisoner's operating account being in excess of $1000 must be diverted using suitable arrangements as outlined in this procedure. Payments under a Redress Scheme are not subject to this limit on deposits and balances. Refer to section 3.3 of this procedure.

1.1 Prisoner Trust Funds

The approved Agency system for managing prisoners' monies within a corrective services facility is the standard operating system - PTAS (refer PTAS User Manual).

Reconciliations must be performed at least monthly between the system cashbook, bank account statement and cash held. Any discrepancies must be investigated and the reconciliation must be checked and authorised by an officer independent of the reconciliation process. Refer procedure - Balancing of Monies.

All transactions involving prisoner trust funds must be supported by properly authorised and independently checked documentation.

2. Public Trustee of Queensland

Refer Public Trustee Act 1978, ss. 90-92

If the Public Trustee of Queensland (PTQ) is responsible for managing a prisoner's property under sections 90-91 of the Public Trustee Act 1978 (PTA) the Agency does not require the consent of PTQ in relation to transactions made through a prisoner's trust account (unless above the limit in section 6 of this procedure). It is not necessary for PTQ to discontinue management under PTA, s. 92 before the general manager exercises the authority to deal with a prisoner's trust account.

The PTQ will provide a prisoner with an annual statement.

2.1 Prior to discharge

The Trust Accounts Officer must be advised of any intended discharge as soon as is practicable and must advise the PTQ in writing, specifying how the funds are to be transferred after consultation with the prisoner.

3. Deposits

The term "prisoner's monies" encompasses monies the prisoner has in his/her possession on admission to a corrective services facility such as funds received by the prisoner from-

  1. prisoner incentive payments;
  2. hygiene allowances; and
  3. other monies paid or received while in custody.

All monies received on behalf of a prisoner by the general manager of a corrective services facility must be deposited in that prisoner's trust account, with the exception of funds managed under section 3.1 of this procedure.

Official receipts for the exclusive use of the Prisoner Trust Fund System must be consecutively issued for all monies deposited. Refer procedure - Receipting (in-confidence).

Monies must not be deposited to any other account (eg. a prisoner's personal bank, building society, credit union or any other external account) without authorisation by the General Manager of the corrective services facility. Refer procedure - Banking.

Funds related to the receipt of cheques or money orders on a prisoner's behalf that are valued above $500 will be automatically frozen in the prisoner's account by PTAS. These funds can be released at the discretion of the general manager, refer section 3.3. Funds in respect of cheques or money orders valued up to $500 may be frozen or made immediately available at centre discretion.

Refer PTAS User Manual

3.1 Managing deposit of funds

The allowable receipt amount for a prisoner's trust account is $500 except for payments made to a prisoner under a Redress Scheme and Centrelink.

If an amount intended for a prisoner from an identifiable source exceeds $500, the funds must not be credited to the prisoner's trust account, with the exception of any outstanding Centrelink payments owed prior to incarceration. If practicable, the funds must be returned to the sender and the sender advised to make alternative payment arrangements with the prisoner. If the funds cannot be returned to the sender (i.e. from Government departments including Centrelink, Child Support Agency, Department of Community Safety, Australian Taxation Office etc) they must be held in suspense pending alternative suitable arrangements or until the prisoner's release (refer section 3.3).

If an amount is received for a prisoner from an unidentifiable source exceeds $500, these funds must be receipted but held in suspense, pending investigations to identify the sender. Once identified, if under $500, the prisoner's operating account is to be credited. If over $500 and practicable, (as outlined in this procedure) funds must be returned to the sender and the sender advised to make alternative payment arrangements with the prisoner. In cases where the source of such funds is never identified or the funds cannot be returned to the sender, the funds are to continue to be held in suspense pending alternative suitable arrangements or until the prisoner's release (refer section 3.3).

Formal advice must be provided to prisoners of all funds managed under this provision, including advice as to the final disposition of the funds.

Appropriate secure arrangements must be made for the return of such funds and auditable records must be maintained of all funds managed under this provision. Advice of all funds managed under this provision must be provided to the Intelligence unit at the relevant corrective services facility.

3.2 International Currency

If funds are received in international currency they are to be stored in the prisoner's property until discharge. The general manager may allow access to the funds if the prisoner agrees in writing to pay (taken out of final deposited amount) all related bank charges. The conversion rate will be at the currency rate offered at the establishment managing the centre's trust fund at the time of conversion.

3.3 Funds held in suspense

If funds are placed in a corrective services suspense account and the source of such funds is not able to be identified or the funds cannot be returned to the sender, the general manager must arrange for the suspense account to be cleared as soon as is practicable by arranging for the prisoner to nominate where he/she wants the funds to be sent. The general manager must assess the suitability of the destination provided and if determined to be suitable forward the funds to the destination. The destination may be the prisoner's private bank account, but not the prisoner's prisoner trust fund.

3.4 Deposits of payments under a Government Redress Scheme of up to $7000 (Level 1 Payment)

Prisoners may receive payments under a Government Redress Scheme. There is no limit on the amount that may be received into a prisoner trust fund as a payment under a Redress Scheme. Deposits of payments of up to $7000 under a Redress Scheme will be managed differently to other deposits as set out in this section.

The payment will be credited to the prisoner's account. To the extent that the payment takes the balance of the trust fund over $1000 it will be held in a R suspense account to the credit of the prisoner. For example, if the prisoner has a trust account balance of $500 and receives a redress payment of $7000, $500 will be deposited to the trust account and $6500 will be held in the prisoner's R suspense account.

When the prisoner's trust fund balance falls below $1000 prisoner's may request that the trust fund be topped up from the funds held in the R suspense account. All deductions from the prisoner's R suspense account must be supported by documentation signed by the prisoner and approved by the general manager.

3.5 Deposits of payments under a Government Redress Scheme of over $7000 (Level 2 Payment)

Prisoners may receive payments under a Government Redress Scheme. Deposits of payments over $7000 under a Redress Scheme will be managed differently to other deposits as set out in this section.

An R2 suspense account must be created for each prisoner who receives a Redress Scheme payment over $7000. The Redress Scheme payment will be credited to the prisoner's R2 suspense account. The prisoner may not access any of the funds in the R2 suspense account while they are in custody unless an exceptional circumstance request is made by the prisoner and approved by the General Manager.

On payment of the money into the prisoner's R2 suspense account the general manager of the correctional centre where the prisoner is located must provide the prisoner with written notification that the prisoner has one month to-

  1. allocate the level two payment to an external account or the Public Trustee. Any funds being transferred to an external bank account will be in the form of a cheque and deposit details must be completed by the prisoner;
  2. allocate the level two payment to an external person such as a family member; or
  3. nominate to keep the level two payment in the R2 suspense account where it will remain until the prisoner receives it on discharge.

If the prisoner nominates to keep the funds in the R2 suspense account the prisoner may not later choose an alternate option. If after one month the prisoner has not nominated one of the above options the funds will remain in the R2 suspense account until the prisoner is discharged (the only exception to this will be where the General Manager approves an exceptional circumstance request made by the prisoner).

All deductions from the prisoner's R2 suspense account must be supported by documentation signed by the prisoner and approved by the general manager.

Refer appendix - Example Level 2 Redress Scheme Letter

4. Withdrawals

A deduction may be made from a prisoner's trust account in accordance with Corrective Services Act 2006 (CSA), ss. 311, 314, Corrective Services Regulation 2006 (CSR), s. 44. Refer procedure - Prisoner Purchasing.

Purposes include-

  1. canteen purchases or, if a canteen facility does not exist, purchase of foodstuffs, tobacco and toiletries;
  2. internal sales (eg. photos, computer disks, religious items excluding ID cards and keys);
  3. external sales (eg. underwear, magazines, greeting cards, recorded music, footwear, electrical goods);
  4. reimburse departmental expenses (eg. storage of property, education and hobby costs, photocopying, laminating);
  5. cost of phone calls, postage and television rental;
  6. costs incurred in attending an approved course or program, employment or leave;
  7. reimbursement for cost of replacing or repairing property wilfully damaged or destroyed during the commission of an offence or breach of discipline;
  8. any other withdrawals authorised by the chief executive or delegate;
  9. providing payments to the PTQ, if the PTQ is managing the prisoner's estate;
  10. payment of the balance of monies held in the account at the time of the prisoner's transfer or release from a corrective services facility; and
  11. payment of amounts owed for criminal injury compensation paid under the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 2009.

A deduction may not be made if there are insufficient funds in the account to fully cover the amount of the deduction without approval from the general manager except for a reception canteen sale (as outlined in the Canteen for Offenders procedure) and television/ computer rental.

All deductions from a prisoner's trust account, with the exception of monies relating to prisoner transfers or section 4.(g), must be supported by documentation signed by the prisoner. All transactions must be signed as approved by an authorised officer or process (eg. canteen sales and open custody cash payments do not receive prior approval from an authorised officer).

4.1 Special requests

In accordance with CSA s 311, a prisoner may apply to the general manager of a corrective services facility on a case-by-case basis to withdraw monies for special purposes not outlined in section 4. This particularly applies to prisoners requiring monies to be forwarded to an external recipient for the purpose of financial assistance to families (eg telephone, electricity and rates bills, rental assistance, food and clothing, travel for visits) and occasions such as birthdays and Christmas.

The following restrictions and conditions apply if special requests are made-

  1. all requests must be made using administrative forms - Application to Expend from Trust Account (General) and Application to Expend from Trust Account (Store) (indicating reasons for the need to send money);
  2. expenditure for this purpose must be limited to $500 per month unless written proof of purpose is received;
  3. applications for amounts of $100 or less do not require supporting documentary evidence unless required by the recipient for identifying the payment or as part of a local practice approved by the general manager of a corrective services facility; and
  4. applications for amounts over $100 must be noted by an Intelligence Officer and approved by an authorised officer.

4.2 Garnishee

The Agency is incapable of being a garnishee in relation to the Crown Proceedings Act 1980. The relationship between the Agency and a prisoner is sufficient to preclude the Agency from being a garnishee. A necessary relationship would be that of a debtor and creditor, and during the term of imprisonment, the requisite relationship does not exist.

4.3 Deductions from trust accounts to repay amounts owed under the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 2009

Prisoners who receive a payment under a Redress Scheme may have a deduction made from the payment to repay an amount owed under the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 2009. See CSR 2006, s. 44(e) and (f).

The Department of Justice and Attorney-General will seek a deduction from the prisoner's trust account by sending a written request to the chief executive. The request must be for:

  1. satisfaction of a repayment order made against the prisoner under the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 2009; and/or
  2. reimbursement of the State for an amount paid by the State under the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 2009 because of a compensation order made against the prisoner under the Act.

If the chief executive is satisfied that:

  1. the prisoner received a payment under a Redress Scheme into the prisoner trust account; and
  2. the prisoner has a balance of the payment held in suspense;
  3. there is evidence that the prisoner owes money to the State under the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 2009;

the chief executive may make a deduction from the funds held in suspense for a prisoner to satisfy a repayment order or reimburse the State for a payment made.

4.4 Deductions from trust accounts to reimburse the chief executive for costs arising from wilful damage to property

On a case by case basis the authorised delegate can arrange a repayment plan for the repayment of costs arising from damage to property (refer section 4.g). The prisoner must be informed of the transaction and where the amount exceeds the current balance of the trust account the authorised delegate must give consideration to the impact on the prisoner when determining the repayment amount of the plan.

In these circumstances the deduction is for the reimbursement of the cost to QCS to replace or repair the property or item. All associated records such as the verdict and judgement record or Form 23 (breach of discipline), expenditure form, record of the damaged item and replacement cost must be held in the prisoner's trust account records.

Within PTAS a suspense account for each reimbursement should be created and monitored regularly.

In the case where a commission of an offence or a breach of discipline has occurred and the prisoner is found guilty (refer section 4.g), there is no requirement for the prisoner to sign the supporting documentation, as the deduction can be authorised under section 312-314 of the CSA. Refer Instrument of Financial and Travel Delegations (Department of Community Safety) (in-confidence) and administrative forms - Application to Expend from Trust Account (General); Application to Expend from Trust Account (Store).

5. Transfer of prisoners

Monies received at the originating facility, after a prisoner has been transferred, should be receipted into the prisoner's operating account.

If an offender absconds or escapes, any monies in the prisoner's trust account must be held pending his/her recapture. Upon return to custody, the prisoner's monies and valuables must be immediately transferred to the facility holding the prisoner.

Following a transfer, the originating centre is to ensure a refund or finalisation of the prisoner's Arunta account, outstanding external purchases and outstanding prisoner incentive payment.

6. Transfer of monies between prisoners

Funds may be transferred between prisoners in custody in a correctional services facility at the general manager's discretion. If the two prisoners are at different centres, approval must be obtained from the general manager at both centres before the funds can be transferred.

7. Monthly review

On a monthly basis, any positive and negative balance remaining in a trust account for a prisoner who is no longer residing at a corrective services facility must be investigated.

7.1. Positive balances

If the prisoner is no longer a resident at a facility and the amount is greater than $10, communications must be sent to the prisoner's last known address stating that Department of Community Safety is holding a sum of money and that if contact is not made within fourteen days, this money will be forwarded to the Public Trustee of Queensland. After the fourteen day period has expired, these funds must be regarded as “Unclaimed”.

If a released prisoner can be located, a positive account balance must be forwarded to that person.

Any balance up to and including $10, and any investigated balance regarded as “unclaimed” must be forwarded to the Public Trustee of Queensland (PTQ), (refer Public Trustee of Queensland - Unclaimed Money - The Public Trustee of Queensland / Public Trustee Act 1978, Part 8 - Unclaimed Monies).

Any requests for return of funds submitted to the PTQ are to be made by the prisoner directly to the PTQ.

7.2. Negative balances

Attempts must be made to recover or reduce negative balances in a prisoner's trust account prior to being released or if the likelihood of recovery is possible, after release. Refer procedure - Payments to Prisoners on Discharge.

Attempts should be made and documented to recover any debt over $10.

Debts that cannot be recovered or are up to and including $10 must be written-off with the approval of the appropriate financial delegate after six months. Refer Instrument of Financial and Travel Delegations (Department of Community Safety) (in-confidence), 2.7 Losses Policy and 2.7.1 Losses Practice Statement in the Financial Management Practice Manual (in-confidence).

When a bad debt incurred is purely related to a reception canteen sale and/or Arunta call the bad debt is to be written off against the DCS SAP ledger account code 530190.

When a bad debt incurred is not purely related to a reception canteen and/or Arunta call the bad debt is to be written off against the DCS SAP ledger account code 573002

7.3 Arunta balances

Arunta accounts should be checked to ensure all balances are within the set $300 limit. Any excess funds over this limit need to be returned to the prisoner's operating account.

Arunta reconciliations should be conducted monthly and should ensure that all prisoner movements including admission, discharge, transfers are accounted for.

8. Quarterly review

A review of prisoner's sub accounts must be conducted before the end of each quarter (ie. 31 March, 30 June, 30 September, 31 December) to ensure funds are managed as per this procedure.

If the prisoner is subject to the PTQ provisions, any excess amount can be forwarded as soon as is practicable as a cheque to PTQ with administrative form - Transfer of excess monies to PTQ.

Prisoners not subjected to the PTQ provision are to have any excess monies held in their sub-accounts pending discharge. Access to funds held in this suspense account may only be approved by the general manager.

9. Discharge

Refer procedure - Payments to Prisoners on Discharge

If the prisoner is subject to PTQ, refer section 2.1 of this procedure.

10. Deceased prisoner

In the event of a deceased prisoner, attempts must be made to contact the executer or trustee of the prisoner's estate. If contact is made a cheque must be drawn in favour of the prisoner's estate and forwarded to the executor of the estate. If the executor or trustee cannot be located, funds must be held for a minimum of 2 years as per Section 102B and Section 98 of the Public Trustee Act before forwarding to the Public Trustee as Unclaimed Money.





Mark Rallings
Acting Commissioner





Version History

21/03/12 Version 13 - 16/11/11 Version 12 - 01/07/11 Version 12 - 07/01/2011 Version 11 - 02/08/2010 Version 10 - 20/11/2009 Version 09 - 26/06/2009 Version 08 - 27/03/2009 Version 07 - 30/09/2008 Version 06 - 20/06/2008 Version 05 - 29/10/2007 Version 04 - 28/08/2006 Version 03 - 24/05/2006 Version 02 - 23/05/2005 - 27/04/2004 (approved) Version 01 [Accounting for Prisoner's Trust Funds] - 05/09/2001 Version 00