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Procedure Properties


Title: Search - Prisoners and Corrective Services Facilities
Category: Custodial Operations - Standard Operating Procedures
Version: 01
Implement Date: 11 April 2012
Application: Custodial Operations
Availability: Public

Authority

Appendices and Forms

Associated Custodial Operations Standard Operating Procedures

Local Procedures

  • Princess Alexandra Hospital Secure Unit - Search - Prisoners, Visitors, Staff and Items (in-confidence)
  • Woodford - Safety Unit - Searches Requiring Removal of Clothing (in-confidence)

QCSA Training Manual

Agency Procedures

Policies

Review Date: October 2013

Ownership: Custodial Operations

Custodial Operations Standard Operating Procedure - Search - Prisoners and Corrective Services Facilities


Performance Standard
Authority
1.Procedure Requirements
Definitions
2.Responsibilities of Officers Conducting Searches
3.Search of Prisoners
3.4Search requiring the removal of clothing
3.5Management of monitoring device recordings
3.6Body search
4.Search of Accommodated Children
5.Accommodation Search
6.Recording of a Search
7.Preservation of Evidence and Disposal of Seized Property
8.Evidence of Possession of a Prohibited Thing
9.Search of Corrective Services Facilities
9.1Industrial areas search
9.2Lock-down search
9.3Targeted searches
9.4High and low security facility visits area search
9.5Corrective service facility vehicle search
9.6External patrols of high security facilities

Performance Standard

A management and operational process is established that provides for the conduct of searches which contributes to the safety and security of the corrective services facility and the safety of persons within the facility.

Safety & 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

Authority

Corrective Services Act 2006 ss. 33-40, 123, 136, 138-142, 159

Corrective Services Regulations 2006 s 10, 11

1. Procedure Requirements

Only those searches prescribed by the Corrective Services Act 2006 (CSA) may be conducted by corrective services officers within corrective services facilities.

Definitions

Body search of a prisoner means a search of the prisoner's body, including an examination of an orifice or cavity of the prisoner's body.

General search of a person means a search-

  1. to reveal the contents of the person's outer garments, general clothes or hand luggage without touching the person or the luggage; or
  2. in which the person may be required to- open his or her hands or mouth for visual inspection; or shake his or her hair vigorously.

Personal search of a prisoner means a search in which light pressure is momentarily applied to the prisoner over his or her general clothes without direct contact being made with-

  1. the prisoner's genital or anal areas; or
  2. for a female prisoner-the prisoner's breasts

Scanning search means a search of a person by electronic or other means that does not require a person to remove his or her general clothes or to be touched by another person.

Examples of a scanning search-

  • using a portable electronic apparatus or another portable apparatus

that can be passed over the person

  • using an electronic apparatus through which the person is required

to pass

  • using a corrective services dog trained to detect the scent of a

substance that is a prohibited thing

Refer - CSA - Schedule 4

Removal of clothing search, refer - CSA s.38

2. Responsibilities of Officers Conducting Searches

When conducting a search, a corrective services officer must ensure that-

  1. reasonable care is taken to protect the dignity and self-respect of the person being searched and to ensure minimal embarrassment to the person, without impeding the effectiveness of the search, for example-

    1. for searches requiring the removal of clothing, the prisoner should be allowed to remain partially clothed at all times; and
    2. the search should be carried out as quickly as possible;

  2. items seized during a search, where appropriate, are preserved in accordance with the standard operating procedure Preservation of a Crime Scene and Evidence and reported in accordance with the standard operating procedure Incident Reporting;
  3. care is exercised when searching a prisoner's private property to avoid damage to the property; and
  4. care is taken when searching a prisoner's accommodation to minimise disruption to the prisoner.

3. Search of Prisoners

Personal searches of prisoners may be conducted at any time to ensure the security and good order of the corrective services facility and the safety of persons in the facility. Refer - CSA ss. 33-40

The chief executive or delegate may order the personal searching of prisoners whenever they leave a part of a corrective services facility and where prisoners may have access to concealable prohibited things eg. a kitchen or workshop.

The personal search of a prisoner must be carried out only by a corrective services officer of the same sex as the prisoner.

When conducting a personal search, the prisoner is to be asked to remove his/her hat, shoes/socks, bags or excess clothing. The removed articles must be searched, item by item, in the following manner-

  1. all pockets emptied;
  2. stitched seams and sleeves checked for concealed articles;
  3. inner linings checked for evidence of damage or tampering;
  4. loose inner soles in shoes removed;
  5. shoes held by the toes and heels banged against each other to loosen any secreted items, and shoe cavities checked;
  6. each sock turned inside out.

The searching officer must stand to a side-on position to the prisoner and-

  1. if the prisoner is wearing a jumper or jacket, direct the prisoner to remove the item and shake it to ensure nothing is concealed within;
  2. ask the prisoner to run his/her fingers through his/her hair;
  3. inspect the prisoner's mouth and ears;
  4. ask the prisoner to raise each foot and wiggle the toes;
  5. search the seams on the collar of the clothing on the side facing the officer;
  6. apply light pressure with the palms of the hands and pat over the prisoner's torso, paying particular attention to the recess of the spine, until reaching the belt line;
  7. search the waistband of clothing by running a thumb around the inside of the band;
  8. ensure pockets are patted, and
  9. ensure pant cuffs are unrolled and patted

The searching officer is then to repeat the search on the prisoner's other side.

3.4 Search requiring the removal of clothing

Searches requiring the removal of clothing by prisoners must be conducted-

  1. on the chief executive's written direction. Refer - CSA s. 35; Queensland Corrective Services Policy - Directions to General Managers for Searches of Prisoners Requiring the Removal of Clothing;
  2. on the chief executive or delegated officer's order. Refer - CSA s. 36 and Instrument of Delegation of Chief Executive Powers - Corrective Services Act 2006 (in-confidence); and
  3. on reasonable suspicion of delegated officer. Refer - CSA s. 37 and Instrument of Delegation of Chief Executive Powers - Corrective Services Act 2006 (in-confidence)

When a delegated officer exercises a decision under CSA ss. 36 or 37 that a search requiring the removal of clothing is to be conducted, this must be recorded in a register. Refer section 3.6 of this standard operating procedure.

The CSA and CSR are prescriptive in the lawful authority that a corrective services officer must comply with when directing a prisoner/s to undertake a search requiring the removal of clothing. Only practices identified in the CSA and CSR may be implemented when undertaking these searches and historical practices ( eg asking a prisoner to squat or asking a male prisoner to lift his scrotum or asking a female prisoner to lift her breasts), are not authorised under the legislation.
S. 38 CSA prescribes the following method for a search requiring the removal of clothing of a prisoner¾

  1. A search requiring the removal of clothing of a prisoner must be carried out by at least 2 corrective services officers, but by no more officers than are reasonably necessary to carry out the search.
  2. Each corrective services officer carrying out the search must be of the same sex as the prisoner.
  3. Before carrying out the search, one of the corrective services officers must tell the prisoner-

    1. that the prisoner will be required to remove the prisoner's clothing during the search; and
    2. why it is necessary to remove the clothing.

  4. A corrective services officer carrying out the search-

    1. must ensure, as far as reasonably practicable, that the way in which the prisoner is searched causes minimal embarrassment to the prisoner; and
    2. must take reasonable care to protect the prisoner's dignity; and
    3. must carry out the search as quickly as reasonable practicable; and
    4. must allow the prisoner to dress as soon as the search is finished.

  5. A corrective services officer carrying out the search must, if reasonably practicable, give the prisoner the opportunity to remain partly clothed during the search, including, for example, by allowing the prisoner to dress his or her upper body before being required to remove clothing from the lower part of the body.
  6. If a corrective services officer seizes clothing because of the search, the officer must ensure the prisoner is left with, or given, reasonably appropriate clothing.
  7. A regulation may prescribe other requirements and procedures for ensuring the effective carrying out of searches requiring the removal of clothing of prisoners.

S. 10 CSR prescribes the following method for a search requiring the removal of clothing of a prisoner

  1. A search requiring the removal of clothing of a prisoner must not be carried out in the presence of anyone who is not carrying out the search.
  2. Subsection (c) applies if a video camera or other device (monitoring device) monitors the area where the prisoner is searched and a person viewing the image produced by the monitoring device is not a corrective services officer of the same sex as the prisoner.
  3. A corrective services officer carrying out the search must-

    1. ensure either or both of the following are turned off while the search is carried out-

      1. the device on which the image is produced;
      2. the monitoring device; or
      3. carry out the search out of view of the monitoring device.

    2. A corrective services officer carrying out the search may require the prisoner to do either or both of the following-

      1. hold his or her arms in the air;
      2. stand with his or her legs apart.

    3. A failure to comply with a requirement under this section in relation to a search does not invalidate the carrying out of the search.

    A corrective services officer carrying out a search requiring the removal of clothing may also incorporate the following practices which are in accordance with legislative requirements¾

    1. the prisoner is to run his/her fingers through his/her hair;
    2. the prisoner's mouth and ears are to be inspected;
    3. the prisoner is to raise each foot and wiggle the toes;
    4. the prisoner is to be instructed to remove upper clothing. Upper outer and inner garments are to be searched and returned to the prisoner who may put them on;
    5. the prisoner is then instructed to remove the lower clothing. Discretion may be used to allow the prisoner to face away from the officer. Lower outer and inner garments are to be searched and returned to the prisoner who may put them on;
    6. the officer conducting the search must not make physical contact with the prisoner being searched;

    Refer - CSA s 38; CSR ss. 10, 11

    3.5 Management of monitoring device recordings

    If a recording is made on a video recorder or visual monitoring device of a search under CSR s. 11, the recording must be kept in a secure place and cannot be shown to anyone other than ¾

    1. the prisoner or the prisoner's lawyer; or
    2. a doctor treating the prisoner; or
    3. a person responsible for deciding if a proceeding is to be started for a search offence; or
    4. a police officer investigating a search offence; or
    5. a police officer, lawyer, prosecutor or witness involved in a proceeding for a search offence; or
    6. a court; or
    7. the chief executive or a person directed by the chief executive to view the recording; or
    8. the chief inspector; or
    9. an official visitor; or
    10. a commissioner of the Crime and Misconduct Commission; or
    11. the ombudsman; or
    12. someone else, with the prisoner's consent.

    Refer - CSR s. 11

    3.6 Body search

    The chief executive or delegate may authorise a doctor to conduct a body search of a prisoner if the chief executive or delegate reasonably believes-

    1. the prisoner has ingested something that may jeopardise his/her health or wellbeing; or
    2. the prisoner has a prohibited thing concealed within his/her person that may potentially be used in a way that may pose a risk to the security or good order of the facility; or
    3. the search may reveal evidence of the commission of an offence or breach of discipline by the prisoner.

    A nurse must be present during the body search and, if the doctor conducting the body search is not of the same sex as the prisoner, the nurse must be of the same sex.

    If the doctor reasonably requires help to conduct the body search, the doctor may ask another person to help. Except in an emergency, the other person requested to help in the body search must be of the same sex as the prisoner.

    A doctor may seize anything discovered during the body search if-

    1. seizing the thing would not be likely to cause grievous bodily harm to the prisoner; and
    2. the doctor reasonably believes the thing may be evidence of the commission of an offence or breach of discipline by the prisoner.

    The doctor must give a seized thing to a corrective services officer as soon as practicable after seizing it.

    Refer - CSA s. 39

    4. Search of Accommodated Children

    The chief executive may require a child accommodated with a female prisoner in a corrective services facility to submit to a general search or scanning search before entering the facility.

    A child accommodated with a female prisoner must not be submitted to a personal search or a search requiring the removal of clothing.

    A prisoner cell in which a child is accommodated is subject to searching as per this procedure.

    Refer - CSA s. 32.

    5. Accommodation Search

    Prior to the occupation of accommodation allocated to a prisoner, that accommodation, where practicable, should be thoroughly searched or inspected for contraband, interference with fixtures and fittings and structural defects.

    When searching a prisoner's accommodation the prisoner's personal property and belongings are to be returned, as far as possible, to their original position.

    The result of any prisoner accommodation search, including common areas and cells, must be documented in a search register. A minimum of 15 per cent of the total number of cells of a secure facility must be searched each week and recorded in an appropriate register.

    6. Recording of a Search

    The general manager of each corrective services facility must establish a register recording the details of each search carried out at their facility requiring the removal of clothing or body search. Refer - CSA s. 40; CSR s. 11

    Details to be recorded on the register must include-

    1. the reason for the search;
    2. the names of all persons present during the search; and
    3. details of anything seized from the prisoner.

    Refer Appendix Example of a Search Register

    7. Preservation of Evidence and Disposal of Seized Property

    All articles, substances or things located during a search are to be handled in accordance with the standard operating procedure Preservation of a Crime Scene and Evidence and disposed of in accordance with CSA s.138-142.

    8. Evidence of Possession of a Prohibited Thing

    If a prohibited thing is located in a prisoner's cell that is occupied solely by that prisoner, or is located on a prisoner, it is deemed evidence that the thing was in the prisoner's possession when it was found.

    Refer - CSA s. 123(4) and standard operating procedure - Preservation of a Crime Scene and Evidence.

    9. Search of Corrective Services Facilities

    9.1 Industrial areas search

    Trade instructors and custodial correctional officers responsible for industry areas must conduct a daily search of the areas for which they are responsible. Industries' supervisors must ensure that a thorough search of all industry areas is conducted at a minimum of once a month and all searches are recorded in an appropriate register.

    9.2 Lock-down search

    A lock-down search refers to those searches conducted while all prisoners-

    1. accommodated within a facility; or
    2. within the immediate area of the search; or
    3. as determined by the general manager, as appropriate

    are locked in their accommodation.

    The general manager of a corrective services facility must ensure that a program of lock-down searches is established for each 12 month period. Searches may be conducted either as a whole-of-facility search or as a section-by-section search. All areas of all corrective services facilities are to be subject to a lock-down search at a minimum of twice per year.

    9.3 Targeted searches

    Targeted searches are for the specific purpose of acting on intelligence advice or incident analysis trends and patterns that impact on the security and good order of the correctional facility, which are for the specific purpose of locating drugs, contraband and intelligence gathering. Targeted searching can be conducted as an immediate response or integrated into the lock-down search plan referred to in section 9.2. Targeted searches are to be of a single purpose focus and conducted separately to all other searches. Targeted searches should focus on¾

    1. accommodation areas and prisoners;
    2. groups of prisoners eg. (bin workers, kitchen workers, education prisoners, oval prisoners, industry workers, and landscape workers).

    Targeted searching is to then be recorded in a register designated specifically for this purpose.

    9.4 High and low security facility visits area search

    The general manager of the facility must develop and implement a process that ensures visits areas, including visitor lockers and all areas that are accessible to visitors, are routinely searched. An incident report must be completed if a prohibited thing, or a thing which poses a risk to the safety and good order of the facility including on persons within the facility, is found.

    9.5 Corrective service facility vehicle search

    Any and all searches conducted on vehicles transiting in and out of the centre must be conducted in accordance with standard operating procedure Control Access to a Facility.

    9.6 External patrols of high security facilities

    Refer standard operating procedure - Nightshifts and local procedure Princess Alexandra Hospital Secure Unit - Foyer Area (in-confidence)

    Endorsed by:

    Greg Brown

    Acting Deputy Commissioner, Custodial Operations

    Approved by:





    Marlene Morison
    Acting Commissioner





    Version History

    11/04/2011 Version 01