Title: Safety Orders
Category: Custodial Operations - Standard Operating Procedures
Implement Date: 28 September 2011
Application: Custodial Operations
Appendices and Forms
Associated Custodial Operations Standard Operating Procedures
QCSA Training Manual
Direction for a Search Requiring the Removal of Clothing of Prisoners
Instrument of Delegation of Chief Executive Powers - Corrective Services Act 2006
Ownership: Custodial Operations
Review Date: November 2012
|1.2||Consecutive safety order|
|1.3||Temporary safety order|
|1.4||Safety order records|
|2.||Placement of a Prisoner Subject to a Safety Order|
|3.||Placement in a Safety Unit|
|4.||Placement in a Detention Unit|
|7.||Safety Order Reintegration|
The safety of staff and prisoners is provided for by separating prisoners from the general prison population in certain circumstances with conditions of separation based on the individual risk and need of the prisoner. The process must be in accordance with-
Safety & Security - Our Principles - Engagement
1. Managing prisoners as individuals
We will manage prisoners on an individual basis depending on their individual needs.
Refer - Safety and Security - Our Principles (in-confidence)
Chief Inspector Healthy Prisons 2007 Standard 22.1
Safety Orders for security and good order purposes are only used when appropriate to the circumstances and in accordance with procedures.
Refer - Healthy Prisons Handbook
Standard Guidelines for Corrections in Australia Standards 1.25 to 1.34 - Safe Environments and the Effective Management of Risk and Standards 1.77 to 1.80 - Segregation of Prisoners for Management or Administrative Reasons
Refer - Standard Guidelines for Corrections in Australia Revised 2004
Corrective Services Act 2006, ss. 33-40, 53-59, 68, 265
Corrective Services Regulation 2006, ss. 8-9
Refer Corrective Services Act 2006 (CSA), ss. 53-59; Corrective Services Regulation 2006 (CSR), ss. 8-9; procedures - At-Risk Management (Self Harm/Suicide); Intensive Management; appendix - Special Containment And Intervention Options - High Security; standard operating procedure - Administrative Decision Making.
Prisoners ordered onto the conditions of a safety order may be accommodated in a corrective services facility's detention unit, safety unit, health centre or prisoner accommodation cell.
A safety order describing the conditions of the order must accompany the prisoner.
Safety orders must be generated through IOMS, refer IOMS Online Learning Materials - Create, Confirm and Approve a Safety Order and View / Edit a Safety Order.
A safety order register must be maintained which includes conditions prescribed in accordance with CSA, s. 59.
Special conditions stipulated on the safety order must be complied with.
Prisoners must be informed verbally and in writing of the reasons for being separated under a safety order. Where provision of information contained in the safety order would notconstitute a threat to the good order and security of the corrective services facility, the prisoner should be provided a copy of the safety order.
A prisoner may be placed on a safety order if-
A prisoner assessed as acutely psychotic and requiring specialised psychiatric intervention will be referred to a doctor or consultant psychiatrist for assessment and consideration for placement at a medical facility.
A safety order may be made for a period of up to one month. A month means a calendar month which means a period starting at the beginning of any day of 1 of the 12 named months and ending-
day of the next named month; or
A doctor must examine a prisoner subject to a safety order-
If a safety order was made on the advice of a doctor or psychologist, the general manager must refer the safety order to another doctor or psychologist for review-
The doctor or psychologist must provide a recommendation to the general manager whether the safety order should be confirmed, amended in a particular way or cancelled. Refer administrative form - Consultant Psychiatrist Discharge Review
A prisoner subject to a safety order may apply to the general manager requesting a review of the order by an official visitor. The general manager must refer this request to an official visitor. After completing a review, an official visitor must recommend to the general manager whether the safety order should be confirmed, amended or cancelled. Refer CSA, s. 56
When a prisoner is placed on a safety order, the prisoner must be informed that they may apply to have the safety order reviewed by an official visitor. This notification must be case noted, refer IOMS Online Learning Materials - View and Add Case Notes.
Refer CSA, s. 54 and IOMS Online Learning Materials - Create a Consecutive Safety Order.
The chief executive or delegate may make a further safety order for a prisoner to take effect at the end of an existing safety order if there are grounds to do so.
However, if the existing safety order was made on the advice of a doctor or psychologist, a consecutive safety order may only be made on the further advice of a doctor or psychologist.
A consecutive safety order must be made not more than seven days before the end of the existing safety order.
Not more than 14 days before the end of the existing safety order, the chief executive or delegate must give written notice to the prisoner advising the prisoner that-
The chief executive or delegate must consider any submission made by the prisoner in making the decision about whether to make a consecutive safety order.
When providing the written notice to the prisoner, the prisoner must be advised of their right to submit in writing anything of relevance to the chief executive or delegate. This notification must be case noted, refer IOMS Online Learning Materials - View and Add Case Notes.
An official visitor must review a decision to make a consecutive safety order (a safety order of more than one month, refer CSA section 56(4) and (10)) by the chief executive or delegate. The safety order must be reviewed as soon as practicable to the end of the first month and at subsequent intervals of not more than 1 month until the period ends. The review will occur after the making of the consecutive safety order as this is the decision that the official visitor must review. After completing a review of a decision to make a consecutive safety order, an official visitor must recommend to the chief executive or delegate if the safety order should be confirmed, amended or cancelled, refer CSA section 56(6).
Administration of consecutive safety orders
A recommendation from a corrective services facility to approve a consecutive safety order
must be communicated to the chief executive or delegate a minimum of three business
days prior to the expiry of the existing safety order. To ensure consecutive safety orders
are considered prior to the expiry of the existing safety order, the general manager of a
corrective services facility must establish a process that provides-
The State Coordinator, Official Visitors will ensure that an official visitor report is completed and provided to the chief executive or delegate that made the consecutive safety order for consideration.
Refer CSA, s. 58 and IOMS Online Learning Materials - Create, Confirm and Approve a Safety Order.
A prisoner may be placed on a temporary safety order if-
A temporary safety order must not be made for longer than five days.
A doctor or psychologist must review a temporary safety order before the end of the five day temporary safety order period and make a recommendation whether a safety order should be made or the temporary safety order should be cancelled, .
This review must be conducted as part of the usual at-risk management assessment processes and the recommendation presented during the Risk Assessment Team (RAT) meeting - refer procedure - At-Risk Management (Self Harm/Suicide). Where a doctor or psychologist recommends cessation of a temporary safety order, but the RAT meeting outcome is that the prisoner should be maintained on observations under segregation, the general manager or nominee must consider the placement of the prisoner on a safety order.
The chief executive or delegate must keep information of the details of each prisoner who is placed on a safety order or a temporary safety order containing the following-
The chief executive or delegate must keep the following details of a reviewed safety order-
Refer appendix - Safety Orders Register and administrative form - Custodial Operations Directorate Safety Orders Checklist.
1.5 Safety order for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners
When an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander prisoner is placed on a safety order, the general manager or nominee must ensure the following persons-
have been advised of the prisoner's placement on a safety order (refer CSA, s 9).
The provision of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island health worker's services will be identified through local arrangements between a corrective services facility and external Agencies.
When informing the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health worker of the prisoner's placement on a safety order, the general manager or nominee must ask the worker to visit the prisoner and make provisions for regular cultural contact/support as appropriate. This relevant duty is exercised upon communication of the advice and request to visit the prisoner to the Agency responsible for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health worker. The notification must be recorded on the safety order register.
'Health Centre' purpose built cells or wards contained within a corrective services facility.
'Safety Unit' purpose built or modified sterile environment that provides for the segregation of at-risk prisoners from other prisoners not accommodated in the safety unit. Provides for the effective supervision and management of a prisoner assessed as presenting a significant risk of suicide/self harm (ie. safety units at Woodford Correctional Centre, Townsville Correctional Centre, Townsville Women's Correctional Centre and Brisbane Women's Correctional Centre).
'Detention Unit' secure accommodation area providing accommodation of a prisoner who-
In determining the possible placement of a prisoner subject to a safety order, consideration should be given to a secure environment for the safe management of the prisoner in accordance with the assessed risk to staff, other prisoners and the prisoner.
If relevant, refer procedure - At-Risk Management (Self Harm/Suicide)
2.1 Transfer/movement of a prisoner on a safety order for at-risk (self harm/suicide) reasons
Where a prisoner on a safety order is being managed in accordance with an At Risk Management Plan, any transfer/movement of the prisoner must be in accordance with procedure - At Risk Management (Self Harm/Suicide).
Refer standard operating procedure - Safety Units.
Where a prisoner is placed on a safety order in a detention unit, officers carrying out duties in a detention unit must ensure that-
Refer standard operating procedure - Search - Prisoners and Corrective Services Facilities and Direction for a Search Requiring the Removal of Clothing of Prisoners
A temporary file must be established for a prisoner placed in a detention unit. A copy of the prisoner's safety order authorising placement in the detention unit must be placed at the front of the file. The file must also include-
A supervisor must check the file of each prisoner placed in the detention unit once during his/her shift or as required under any observation regime. This check should assess information recorded on the file and whether further action needs to be taken for individual cases. This check must be placed in the unit log and recorded on the prisoner's file.
The contents of the file must be transferred to the prisoner's Offender File when the period of separation is completed.
A supervisor must ensure that any officer entering the unit is aware of his/her responsibility for entering details in case files and the unit log book as required.
Refer standard operating procedure - Gate Books, Log Books and Registers and procedure - Offender File Management (in-confidence)
4.2 Minimum requirements
The general manager must specify the minimum requirements for staff accessing a cell and escort arrangements, which take into account the reasons for a prisoner placement on a safety order.
The safety order must state the conditions (privileges) that apply to the prisoner, refer CSA, s 53(3) and CSR, s 8.
For self harm/suicide concerns, refer procedure - At-Risk Management (Self Harm/Suicide).
A prisoner segregated in the detention unit under this procedure must be examined by a doctor in compliance with CSA s. 57 (safety order).
Officers must immediately refer any medical needs of a prisoner in a detention unit to the Queensland Health Nurse Unit Manager and/or registered nurse. The referral and any follow outcomes must be placed in the unit log and recorded on the prisoner's file.
The general manager or nominee, in consultation with the Nurse Unit Manager, where applicable, may determine more frequent services in accordance with a prisoner's medical needs or the operational needs of the facility. A record of that consultation must be placed in the unit log and recorded on the prisoner's file.
If a prisoner requires medical treatment that cannot be provided in the detention unit, the prisoner must be removed to the Health centre located within the facility with the approval of the general manager.
4.5 Electronic visual/audio recordingo and archiving
The general manager of the corrective services facility must provide for the use and storage of electronic visual/audio recordings used in a detention unit and account for all recordings in a register containing the following information-
Electronic visual and audio recordings which depict the commission of an offence in a detention unit, must be treated as evidence and removed from circulation, secured and signed for by the general manager of the corrective services facility.
Refer standard operating procedure - Preservation of a Crime Scene and Evidence
5. Code of Conduct
The general manager of a facility must ensure that all personnel operating closed circuit television monitoring and recording devices are instructed on and acknowledge the intent of the DCS Code of Conduct and procedure - Use of Information and Communication Technology Facilities and Devices.
6. Placement of a Prisoner in a Padded Cell
A prisoner may only be placed in a padded cell where assessed as presenting a high risk of suicide or self-harming behaviour. Placement of a prisoner in a padded cell must be determined by-
Refer procedure - At-Risk Management (Self Harm/Suicide)
When considering placement in a padded cell staff are to be mindful to adopt a conservative approach to at-risk management, ensuring that the least intrusive observation measure is used without compromising duty of care.
A decision to place a prisoner in a padded cell must be made by a correctional manager or above during business hours or the duty manager outside of business hours. The general manager and/or deputy general manager (where not the decision maker) must be informed of a prisoners placement in a padded cell.
6.1 Use of padded cells
Padded cells are to be used only after due consideration for the best management of the prisoner in line with duty of care principles. Acceptable reasons for placement of a prisoner in a padded cell may include-
If the prisoner in question is not assessed as being at imminent, immediate or high risk of suicide or self-harm (as defined above) careful consideration must be given to the use of a padded cell.
During business hours a prisoner's risk level is to be assessed and determined through initial assessment by a psychologist.
Outside normal business hours a prisoner's risk level is to be assessed and determined through joint assessment by a custodial supervisor and registered nurse.
6.2 Notification and review of use of a padded cell
A padded cell should only be used as a last resort for placement, having considered all other placement options.
During business hours
A correctional manager or above must make the decision to place a prisoner in a padded cell upon receiving advice in relation to the prisoners placement from a psychologist and a custodial supervisor. A decision to remove the prisoner from the padded cell must be made after discussion with a psychologist and a custodial supervisor.
A review of a prisoner's placement in a padded cell must occur in accordance with at risk assessment processes but within 24 hours of placement in the padded cell as coordinated by a psychologist.
Outside business hours
The duty manager must make the decision to place a prisoner in a padded cell upon receiving advice in relation to the prisoner's placement from a custodial supervisor and registered nurse. A decision to remove the prisoner from the padded cell must be made after discussion with a custodial supervisor and registered nurse.
A review of a prisoner's placement in a padded cell must occur in accordance with at risk assessment processes but within 24 hours of placement in the padded cell or next business day as coordinated by a psychologist.
Reintegration of a prisoner from a safety order into general prison accommodation should be undertaken on a staged and progressive basis and in a manner that is consistent with the prisoner's coping skills. For example, staged reintegration for a prisoner could be facilitated through the prisoner's short term placement into the mainstream population or into a routine that applied to the prisoner before the safety order took effect.
For prisoners that have been placed on a safety order as a result of problematic behaviour (eg. violent /abusive /bullying) or concerns for the safety of the prisoner or for an extended period, consideration must be given to whether the prisoner should be managed under an Intensive Management Plan. Refer procedure - Intensive Management Plans.
Deputy Commissioner, Custodial Operations
28/09/2011 Version 01