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Procedure Properties

Title: Protection
Category: Custodial Operations - Standard Operating Procedures
Version: 01
Implement Date: 06 August 2012
Application: Custodial Operations
Availability: Public


Appendices and Forms

  • Application for Protection Assessment (in-confidence)
  • Withdrawal of Protection (in-confidence)

Associated Custodial Standard Operating Procedures

Agency Procedures

Local procedures

  • Brisbane Women's - Management of Protection Unit (in-confidence)


Review Date: March 2016

Ownership: Custodial Operations

Custodial Operations Standard Operating Procedure - Protection

Performance Standard
1.Procedural Requirements
2.Considerations for Protection Status
3.Requests for Protection
5.Application for Protection
6.Assessment of Need for Protection
7.1Factors of consideration
8.Approval of Protection Status
9.Placement of Protection Prisoners
10.Review of Protection
11.Withdrawal of Protection

Performance Standard

A process is in place for the protective management of prisoners who are assessed as being at risk of harm from others. This is in accordance with-

Safety and Security Our - Principles

Refer - Safety and Security - Our Principles (in-confidence) - Engagement, Containment

Chief Inspector Healthy Prisons 2007 - Standard 6 , 7

Refer - Healthy Prisons Handbook

Standard Guidelines for Corrections in Australia - Standards

1.25, 1.27, 1.28, 1.31, 1.34, 2.5.

Refer - Standard Guidelines for Corrections in Australia revised 2004


  • Corrective Services Act 2006, ss. 263, 265

1. Procedural Requirements

Queensland Corrective Services has a duty of care to provide a safe environment for all prisoners.

A prisoner may only be approved for protection following a dynamic risk/needs assessment and it is determined the prisoner cannot be effectively managed within the mainstream prisoner population. Consideration must be given to the risk the prisoner may present to existing protection prisoners..

It is the responsibility of all corrective services staff to take appropriate action to ensure the safety of all prisoners.

The general manager or nominee of a corrective services facility has the authority to approve and to withdraw protection status.

Centre sentence management staff are to ensure a prisoner's Offender File and IOMS are updated with relevant information relating to the prisoners protection status.

1.1 Definitions

General managers nominee includes-

  1. deputy general manager;
  2. correctional manager.

2. Considerations for Protection Status

A prisoner may be assessed as being at risk from others and require protection as a result of, but not limited to-

  1. appearing as a court witness offering assistance to the Crown;
  2. being a human source by giving, or offering to give, information to law enforcement or correctional authorities;
  3. the nature of the offence (eg. a prisoner who has committed an offence, which is likely to make him or her the target of aggression from others);
  4. personal or psychological characteristics (eg. a prisoner who exhibits physical, emotional, psychological or intellectual characteristics, which are likely to make him or her the target of aggression or intimidation from others); or
  5. cultural issues (eg. a prisoner who is assessed as being at risk of harm due to cross cultural, religious or particular tribal issues);
  6. prior protection status; or
  7. public profile of prisoner. (ie media interest)

3. Requests for Protection

A request for the protection of a prisoner may arise from, for example-

  1. a court;
  2. a solicitor;
  3. police and other law enforcement agency;
  4. the prisoner;
  5. a family member;
  6. the sentencing court makes a recommendation to consider protection placement or;
  7. staff or management of a corrective services facility after receiving information that indicates a threat to a prisoner exists.

4. Reception

If during the admission process, a potential threat to a prisoner is identified, the information must be referred to a sentence management officer for completion of a Protection Needs Assessment. The general manager or nominee and Intelligence Advisor must be advised of the Protection Referral and consideration of the immediate safety accommodation needs of the prisoner must occur. Particular attention must be paid to those prisoners who have been segregated from others while in police custody.

If during completion of the Immediate Risk Needs Assessment (IRNA), the assessing officer identifies any potential threat to the prisoner this information must be referred to a correctional manager and a sentence management officer for completion of a Protection Needs Assessment. Refer procedure- Admission.

5. Application for Protection

The general manager of a facility is responsible for the safety of a prisoner who makes a verbal request or written application for protection from the time the request or application is made until the matter is determined. This may require the prisoner being placed on a safety order pending determination of protection status. Refer CSA s 53; standard operating procedure - Safety Orders

A prisoner may make a verbal or written request for protection at any time. Staff may also refer a prisoner for assessment of protection status at any time. Where a request for protection is made administrative form - Application for Protection Assessment (in-confidence) will be completed and immediately provided to the correctional facility's sentence management staff, and confirmation of advice received..

A prisoner must be advised that, if his/her application for protection is approved, the prisoner's placement within the correctional system will be based upon availability of protection cells and individual needs and may not be in the prisoner's current region. A copy of the application for protection must be saved on IOMS with the hard copy document placed on the Offender File. A notation should be made regarding confidential intelligence information should not be documented in the protection needs assessment.

6. Assessment of Need for Protection

All relevant information relating to the request for protection must be assessed by a sentence management officer,. Once the general manager or nominee has made a determination on the assessment the information must be entered into IOMS.

FileContents>Offender>management>assessments>action>new>protection need assessment

If a prisoner is assessed as being at risk of self-harm or suicide, refer procedure - At-Risk Management (Self Harm/Suicide).

7. Assessment

The nature of the threat to a prisoner should be established and the details recorded in the Protection Needs Assessment on IOMS. Information on the reasons for a prisoner being at risk from others should be obtained from all possible sources including-

  1. the prisoner;
  2. the prisoner's file and IOMS records;
  3. court documents;
  4. facility staff and management (to specifically include the Intelligence and psychological staff); and
  5. police and other law enforcement, where relevant.

A request or recommendation for protection must be evaluated. In circumstances where the request or recommendation for protection arises from a third party. A written record of reasons for the protection request or recommendation should be obtained as soon as practical. If no written information can be obtained, this fact and relevant details on the source of the information (name, organisation, address, and contact number) must be referred to the appropriate staff member/s for action and recording.

Refer procedure - Intelligence Reporting (in-confidence)

Based on the information received regarding the nature of the threat, a sentence management officer must assess the seriousness of the presenting threat and seek advice from relevant correctional officers (eg intelligence staff) to determine the validity of the need for protection. This information must be recorded in the Protection Needs Assessment on IOMS and include details of the method/information used to determine the validity and seriousness of the threat.

FileContents>Offender>management>assessments>action>new>protection needs assessment

7.1 Factors of consideration

Staff conducting the assessment are to consider a range of placement/management options that may provide for the safety of the prisoner. The following placement options are to be explored and considered prior to any recommendation-

  1. temporary placement on a safety order pending completion of further assessments;
  2. placement in another area of the facility;
  3. placement in another mainstream facility; and
  4. placement on protection.

Where protection status is to be recommended consideration must be also be given to static and dynamic factors relevant to the protection. .

Static factors include-

  1. nature of offences. (eg. sexual offences against children); and
  2. a prisoner's personal characteristics. (eg. physical disability, age);

Dynamic factors include-

  1. release or transfer of a prisoner/s who may have initiated the threat;
  2. completion of a program - where a prisoner has been granted protection status for a specific reason to participate in a recommended program; and
  3. risk the referred prisoner may present to existing protection prisoners and the safety and security of the potential placement facility ( based on demonstrated behavioural history)..

In those instances where it is considered that the threat to the prisoner will remain for the duration of incarceration, it may not be necessary to annually review the protection status unless warranted by special circumstances. (eg. prisoner demonstrates threatening behaviour toward other prisoners).

Alternatively should it be determined that the factors initially indicating a need for protection may change, a yearly review of protection status must be completed and entered on IOMS. Any further requests for review of the prisoner's protection status should only be considered at the time of the request or when prompted by a specific event.

In the event that a determination is made that a prisoner does not require an annual review of their protection status, the intention is to be clearly documented in the Protection Needs Assessment on IOMS and a rationale provided.

8. Approval of Protection Status

The assessment which includes a summary of the threats, risks and recommendations for the placement and management of a prisoner must be provided to the general manager.

A protection needs assessment must be documented on IOMS along with any subsequent reviews conducted.

FileContents>Offender>management>assessments>action>new>protection needs assessment

9. Placement of Protection Prisoners

If a request for protection is approved, it is preferable that a prisoner is allocated to protection accommodation within the current facility. Where this is not practicable or protection accommodation does not exist or is currently not available within the facility, the prisoner must be appropriately accommodated until such time as a transfer to a facility which provides protection accommodation has been completed. (refer section 7 of this standard operating procedure).

Refer procedure -Transfer of Prisoners

10. Review of Protection

The need for a prisoner to remain on protection will be reviewed on a 12 monthly basis (at a minimum) unless otherwise determined by the general manager or nominee. The following must be established during the review process-

  1. the current validity and seriousness of initial threat;
  2. the prisoner's reasons to remain on protection;
  3. assessment of actual protection need; and
  4. alternative placement options and management strategies.

The review assessment must be completed and recorded on IOMS.

FileContents>Offender>management>assessments>action>new>protection needs assessment

The general manager or nominee may determine that static factors relevant to a prisoners placement on protection do not require that the protection status be reviewed on a 12 monthly basis.

11. Withdrawal of Protection

The general manager of a corrective services facility is the only approving authority for the withdrawal of protection.

Withdrawal of protection must be documented on administrative form - Withdrawal of Protection (in-confidence). Information must also be entered into IOMS and the hardcopy document placed on the Offender File..

A prisoner may make a request for the withdrawal of protection status at any time. A request for the withdrawal of protection by a prisoner must be in writing. A sentence management officer must assess the prisoner's request and forward a recommendation to the general manager for determination.

After consideration of all the relevant information including the sentence management officer's assessment and recommendation, if the general manager is satisfied that the prisoner can be safely managed within the mainstream prison population, the prisoner's protection status may be removed, even if the prisoner declines to sign off protection. This information must be recorded on IOMS

Documentation including any placement recommendation must be provided to the prisoner. If the prisoner is to be transferred to another facility, refer procedure - Transfer of Prisoners.

Endorsed by


Deputy Commissioner Statewide Operations

Approved by


Version History

06/08/2012 Version 01