Access keys | Skip to primary navigation | Skip to secondary navigation | Skip to content | Skip to footer |
Problems viewing this site

Procedure Properties


Title: Personal Visitors to Prisoners
Category: Custodial Operations - Standard Operating Procedures
Version: 01
Implement Date: 10 December 2012
Application: Custodial Operations
Availability: Public

Authority

Corrective Services Act 2006 (CSA) ss 152 - 163, 263 and 265

Instrument of Delegation of Chief Executive Powers - Corrective Services Act 2006

Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000 ss 382, 391

Public Sector Ethics Act 1994

Appendices and Forms

Associated Custodial Operations Standard Operating Procedures

Agency Procedures

Policies

Review Date: October 2015

Ownership: Statewide Operations

Custodial Operations Standard Operating Procedure - Personal Visitors to Prisoners


Performance Standard
Authority
1.Procedure Requirements
1.1Deciding access approval
1.2Definitions
2.Application by an Adult for Access to a Corrective Services Facility
3.Application for Access to the Princess Alexandra Hospital Secure Unit
4.Application for Child to Visit a Prisoner.
4.1Best interests of a child
4.2Child in care of child protection chief executive
4.3Application for a child to visit a child sex offender
4.4Contact visit between a child and a notorious or high profile child sex offender
5.Domestic Violence / Restraining / Protections Orders
5.1Obtaining information of the existence of an order
6.Factors to be Considered by the General Manager or Authorised Delegate
7.Interim Access by a Personal Visitor Pending a Decision on the Application
8.Decision to Grant Access Approval
9.Refusal to Grant Access
10.Criminal History Checks
11.Booking a Personal Visit
12.Prohibited and Unauthorised Things
12.1Prohibited things
12.2Unauthorised things
13.Conditions of Entry
13.1Imposing and amending conditions
13.2Warning signs
13.3Visitor identification
14.Controlling Access
14.1Record of personal visitor detail
14.2Corrective services officer's duties
15.Directions to Visitors
16.Suspension of Access Approval
17.Revoking Access to a Corrective Services Facility
18.Prisoner Refusing Visit
19.Storage of Visitor's Possessions
20.Searching of Prisoners and Visits Facilities
20.1Visits areas - high and low security facilities
20.2Prisoners - all facilities
21.Visits
21.1Visiting times
21.2Contact visits
21.3Visiting times and areas for child sex offenders
22.Medical Assistance for Visitors to Prisoners
23.Search of a Visitor
26.Searches Involving Children
27.Responsibilities of Officers Conducting Searches
28.Powers of a QPS Officer to Search a Person/s Without a Warrant
29.Search of a Visitor at the Direction of a Police Officer
30.Temporary Detention for a Security Offence
31.Preservation of Evidence and Disposal of Seized Property
32.Code of Conduct

Performance Standard

A process is established that provides for the management of personal visitors (including child visitors) with prisoners that ensures an acceptable standard of conduct and maintenance of the security and good order of the corrective services facility. This must be in accordance with -

Safety & Security - Our Principles - Containment

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

Healthy Prisons Handbook

Refer - Healthy Prisons Handbook

Standard Guidelines for Corrections in Australia - standards 3.19 - 3.34 Community Contact including Visits

Refer- Standard Guidelines for Corrections in Australia

Authority

Corrective Services Act 2006 (CSA) ss 152 - 163, 263 and 265

Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000 ss 29, 30

Public Sector Ethics Act 1994

1. Procedure Requirements

A prisoner is entitled to receive one personal visitor once a week. The personal visitor must have been granted access approval to a corrective services facility.

Refer Corrective Services Act 2006 (CSA) ss. 153, 154 (1) and 168

A personal visit must be a non-contact visit, unless the chief executive or authorised delegate approves the visit be a contact visit. In deciding whether to grant approval for a contact visit between a personal visitor and a prisoner,, the chief executive or authorised delegate must consider the factors in CSA ss 154(1) and 156(2), refer - Instrument of Delegation of Chief Executive Powers - Corrective Services Act 2006 (in-confidence)

1.1 Deciding access approval

The ability to enter and visit a prisoner within a corrective services facility is restricted by legislation. A personal visit with a prisoner involves a three stage process -

  1. initially the proposed visitor must gain access approval;
  2. if granted access approval, each visit remains subject to the over riding ability of the chief executive or authorised delegate to refuse access to the facility for operational reasons and in particular if safety or security might be compromised; and
  3. the third stage involves exercise of a discretion to permit contact during the visit.

First stage - refer Part A of this standard operating procedure

S 156 of the CSA states -

Access approval required for particular visitors

    • Before visiting a corrective services facility for the first time, a visitor, other than a prescribed person, must apply for approval to access the facility (access approval).
    • The application must be made in the approved form to the chief executive.

Second stage - refer Part B of this standard operating procedure

S 156 of the CSA states -

Deciding application for access approval

    • The chief executive may grant an access approval if satisfied the visitor seeking the approval does not pose a risk to the security or good order of the corrective services facility.
    • In deciding whether a visitor poses a risk to the security or good order of a corrective services facility, the chief executive must consider each of the following -
  1. whether the visitor has, as an adult, been convicted of escaping, or attempting to escape, from lawful custody in Queensland or elsewhere;
  2. whether the visitor has been convicted of helping, or attempting to help, a prisoner to escape from lawful custody in Queensland or elsewhere;
  3. whether the visitor has been convicted of committing, or attempting to commit, an offence while visiting a prisoner in lawful custody in Queensland or elsewhere;
  4. whether the visitor has been refused access to, or been suspended from entering, a corrective services facility.
      • Subsection (2) does not apply to an Australian legal practitioner as defined under the Legal Profession Act 2007, section 6.
      • Subsection (2) does not limit the matters the chief executive may consider in deciding whether a visitor poses a risk to the security or good order of a corrective services facility.
      • The chief executive may -
    1. impose conditions on an access approval...

    Third stage - refer Part C of this standard operating procedure

    S 154 of the CSA states -

    Contact during personal visit

      • A personal visit must be a non-contact visit, unless the chief executive approves that the visit be a contact visit.
      • In deciding whether to give the approval, the chief executive must consider the following -
    1. the requirements of any court order relating to the prisoner;
    2. whether the prisoner has previously escaped or attempted to escape from custody;
    3. whether the prisoner has previously given a positive test sample;
    4. information about the prisoner or visitor that indicates a risk to the security or good order of the corrective services facility.

    1.2 Definitions

    Child if age rather than descendancy is relevant, means an individual who is under 18, refer Acts Interpretation Act 1954, s 36.

    Child sex offender means a person charged with, or convicted of, a sexual offence in relation to a child under the age of 16 years.

    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-

      1. open his or her hands or mouth for visual inspection; or

    ii.shake his or her hair vigorously.

    Notorious or high profile child sex offender means a person who, has a notorious or high profile offender flag/s, and who has been charged with, or convicted of, a sexual offence in relation to a child under the age of 16 years

    Personal visitor of a prisoner, means a visitor of the prisoner who is -

    1. a relative of the prisoner; or
    2. a person who the chief executive is satisfied has a personal relationship with the prisoner.

    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 an illicit substance or a mobile telephone that are prohibited things.

    Refer - CSA Schedule 4

    PART A - APPLICATION FOR ACCESS APPROVAL

    2. Application by an Adult for Access to a Corrective Services Facility

    Before visiting a corrective services facility for the first time, a personal visitor must apply in the approved form for approval to access the facility, refer - Form 27 - Approval for Access to a Corrective Services Facility and Visit a Prisoner (Personal Visitor). A personal visitor can obtain this form by -

    1. contacting the corrective services facility to request the form be mailed out; or
    2. downloading the form from the Queensland Corrective Services (QCS) internet site.

    The visitor must send the completed Form 27 and certified copies of his/her identification and the identification of any proposed accompanying child to the facility prior to visiting the prisoner. Refer - Corrective Services Regulation 2006 (CSR) s. 24 for identification that a visitor may use to prove his or her identity.

    Access approval must be granted by the chief executive or authorised delegate prior to a personal visit with a prisoner being conducted, refer Instrument of Delegation of Chief Executive Powers - Corrective Services Act 2006 (in-confidence).

    3. Application for Access to the Princess Alexandra Hospital Secure Unit

    All requests to visit a prisoner in the Princess Alexandra Hospital Secure Unit (PAHSU) must be made to the corrective services facility at which the prisoner was last accommodated. If the prisoner was previously accommodated at a watch-house, the visit application must be made to -

    1. for a male prisoner-Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre; or
    2. for a female prisoner-Brisbane Women's Correctional Centre.

    The relevant facility staff must -

    1. check if -

      1. a Form 27 has previously been completed

    ii.check if access approval has been granted;

  5. the prisoner has been approved for contact visits; and
  6. send the completed administrative form - Princess Alexandra Hospital Secure Unit Personal Visitors to Prisoners to the PAHSU.If the Form 27 had not been previously completed, the PAHSU must request the personal visitor to apply for a visit using a Form 27.An inpatient prisoner suffering from a life threatening or terminal illness may be provided with special visit privileges. On the recommendation of the PAHSU Medical Director, the chief executive or authorised delegate of the facility at which the prisoner was last accommodated may approve multiple and unrestricted access for approved visitors. Refer - CSA s 153(2) and Instrument of Delegation of Chief Executive Powers - Corrective Services Act 2006 (in-confidence)..An inpatient, confined to bed, may be permitted an inpatient bedside visit. Such a visit must be conducted under constant supervision (refer section 13 of this standard operating procedure).Refer CSA ss. 155, 326 and 327; Form 27 - Approval for Access to a Corrective Services Facility and Visit a Prisoner (Personal Visitor); appendix - Appropriate Dress Standards

    4. Application for Child to Visit a Prisoner.

    A child may visit a prisoner at a corrective services facility if the chief executive or authorised delegate considers that a visit is in the best interests of the child, refer CSA s. 166(1) (3)A child applying to visit a prisoner must have a personal relationship with the prisoner, refer CSA s. 166(2), Access for a visit must not be granted to a child if the child -
    1. is precluded from seeing the prisoner under the terms of a court order (eg. a child protection or domestic violence order); or
    2. does not have the consent of the child's legal guardian to visit the prisoner.

    4.1 Best interests of a child

    If an unaccompanied child or an adult's application for a visit to a prisoner includes details of an accompanying child, the primary consideration for the chief executive or authorised delegate of the facility in deciding whether to approve the child's visit must be the best interests of the child. When considering the best interests of a prospective child visitor to a prisoner, the decision maker must consider all relevant factors, including -

    1. the child's relationship to the prisoner;
    2. the child's age;
    3. any urgent circumstances relating to the child or prisoner;
    4. the reason for the child's visit;
    5. any relevant court orders such as one precluding the child from seeing the prisoner (refer to section 4 of this standard operating procedure);
    6. whether the child's parent or guardian has consented to the visit (refer to section 4 of this standard operating procedure);
    7. whether the child was a complainant or witness in the matters that lead to the prisoner's conviction and imprisonment (visit applicants may be advised to consider a mediated contact with the prisoner, refer procedure - Justice Mediation); and
    8. if the child is able to express a view, the child's wishes.

    .

    If an application for a personal visit by an adult includes details of a child, the child is not required to complete a separate application or sign the visitors' book. However, the adult visitor must complete the relevant details concerning the child as required by the Form 27.

    An unaccompanied child must be escorted to and from the reception area and the visits area by a corrective services officer.

    .

    If a child is not granted access, the applicant may be advised of other forms of contact (eg videoconferencing).

    Refer CSA ss. 25, 156(2), 166(1) - (3); CSR s. 25; Form 27 - Approval for Access to a Corrective Services Facility and Visit a Prisoner (Personal Visitor); appendix - Appropriate Dress Standards and Instrument of Delegation of Chief Executive Powers - Corrective Services Act 2006 (in-confidence)

    4.2 Child in care of child protection chief executive

    In deciding whether it is in the best interests of a child in care to visit a prisoner, the chief executive or authorised delegate must consult with the child protection chief executive (refer CSA s. 166(3)).

    If a child safety officer is accompanying the child, refer standard operating procedure - Visitors to a Facility (Excluding Personal Visitors).

    4.3 Application for a child to visit a child sex offender

    .The primary consideration for the chief executive or authorised delegate of a facility in deciding whether to approve a child's visit must be the best interests of the child as detailed in section 4.1 of this standard operating procedure.

    The general manager must keep a record of any approved visits by children to child sex offenders (refer appendix - Register of visit by Child to Child Sex Offender).

    The applicant must be notified that the approval for a child to visit a child sex offender (either as a contact or non-contact visit) is conditional upon the applicant providing proof of the identity of the child and that a parent or legal guardian (where relevant) has provided consent for the visit, refer administrative form - Parent or Legal Guardian Consent...

    The chief executive or authorised delegate may also consult with the child protection chief executive to determine if there is any relevant information to assist in making a decision to approve an application for a child to visit a child sex offender.

    Both prisoner and visitor should be advised of any special conditions attached to the granting of the approval of the visit, refer section 13 of this standard operating procedure and CSA s. 156(5), Schedule 1

    4.4 Contact visit between a child and a notorious or high profile child sex offender

    If a contact visit between a child and a notorious or high profile child sex offender is approved, written confirmation of the approval must be provided to the Deputy Commissioner, Statewide Operations or General Manager, Operational Service Delivery prior to the first visit occurring stating -

    1. names of the prisoner and visitors who have been approved the visit;
    2. nature of the relationship between the child and the prisoner;
    3. reasons for the approval;
    4. conditions attached to the granting of the approval; and
    5. date of approval.

    Refer appendix - Notification of Visit by Child to Notorious or High Profile Child Sex Offender.

    5. Domestic Violence / Restraining / Protections Orders

    The essential element that must be considered is whether a risk is posed either to the security of the prison or to the good order of the prison. A relevant consideration to grant access approval for a personal visitor to visit a prisoner includes where a domestic violence / restraining / protection order has the personal visitor and prisoner as the complainant and respondent. The existence of a current order does not in itself mean a visit should not be approved. The basic condition of such orders is that the respondent must not commit an act of violence against the complainant. The actual terms of the order must be considered to determine whether a visit may be approved and what condition/s may be placed on the visit. Where a current order has a provision that states the respondent must not have contact with the complainant, a personal visit must not be approved.

    For deciding visits applications, refer also to section 1.1 of this standard operating procedure.

    5.1 Obtaining information of the existence of an order

    A personal visitor must disclose on the Form 27 - Approval for Access to a Corrective Services Facility and Visit a Prisoner (Personal Visitor) if they are the subject of any current domestic violence / restraining / protection order in which a prisoner they are applying to visit is also named.

    If a visitor identifies they are the subject of a current order/s in which the prisoner is also named, a copy of the order must be provided to the authorised delegate to assist determining if the visit would pose a risk to the security or good order of the facility.

    PART B - DECISION ON APPLICATION FOR ACCESS APPROVAL

    6. Factors to be Considered by the General Manager or Authorised Delegate

    The chief executive or authorised delegate may grant an access approval if satisfied that the visitor does not pose a risk to the security or good order of the facility, refer CSA s. 156(1)), and Instrument of Delegation of Chief Executive Powers - Corrective Services Act 2006 (in-confidence).

    .

    In deciding whether to grant an access approval, the chief executive or authorised delegate of the corrective services facility must consider the factors in the CSA s. 156(2) -

    1. whether the visitor has, as an adult, been convicted of escaping, or attempting to escape, from lawful custody in Queensland or elsewhere;
    2. whether the visitor has been convicted of helping, or attempting to help, a prisoner to escape from lawful custody in Queensland or elsewhere;
    3. whether the visitor has been convicted of committing, or attempting to commit, an offence while visiting a prisoner in lawful custody in Queensland or elsewhere; and
    4. whether the visitor has been refused access to, or been suspended from entering, a corrective services facility.

    The best evidence for considering factors (a) - (c) is by considering a criminal history of the personal visitor.

    The best evidence for considering factor (d) are records held by QCS in relation to the personal visitor.

    In considering whether to grant access approval, the chief executive or authorised delegate must consider appendix - Guidelines for Assessing of Criminal Histories Regarding Visitors.

    A further criminal history check should be carried out at intervals of no more than 12 months.

    7. Interim Access by a Personal Visitor Pending a Decision on the Application

    Criminal history information on a personal visitor is obtained from the Queensland Police Service (QPS). The process for obtaining criminal history information takes time and it may be appropriate to allow visits to occur during the processing of the request for criminal history information.

    The chief executive or authorised delegate may grant an interim access approval after an application is made if it is considered appropriate in the circumstances, refer CSA s. 156A.

    A personal visit under the interim access approval must be a non-contact visit unless it is impracticable having regard to the facilities at the corrective services facility.

    Once a decision is made under CSA s. 156A the interim access approval ceases to have effect.

    8. Decision to Grant Access Approval

    If a chief executive or authorised delegate grants access approval, the visitor's details, including details of any accompanying children approved to visit, must be recorded on the Integrated Offender Management System (IOMS), refer IOMS Online Learning Materials - Visits to the Centre.

    The nominated officer must contact the visitor, by telephone if possible, to inform the visitor of the result of the application and confirm the details of the initial visit.

    9. Refusal to Grant Access

    If the chief executive or authorised delegate is satisfied that the personal visitor poses a risk to the security or good order of a facility, the chief executive or authorised delegate may refuse to grant access.

    When refusing access, the chief executive or authorised delegate may order that the visitor can not make a further application for a period of not more than one year after the refusal. In deciding whether to set a period during which an application can not be made, the delegate must consider -

    1. the effect of the proposed order on a child for whom approval has been given to accompany the visitor to visit the prisoner; and
    2. whether the child may, unaccompanied by an adult, visit the prisoner.

    If access approval is refused the personal visitor may ask that the chief executive or authorised delegate to reconsider the decision.

    Refer CSA ss. 156(6)-(11); Instrument of Delegation of Chief Executive Powers - Corrective Services Act 2006 (in-confidence); appendix - Refuse/Terminate a Visit

    10. Criminal History Checks

    The general manager of a corrective services facility must obtain criminal history information from the QPS relating to a personal visitor, for the purposes of determining their access to the facility.

    The general manager must nominate an officer to be responsible for coordinating criminal history checks on all visitors to the facility. The nominated officer must maintain a register of all persons who have received security clearances containing the -

    1. full name of the visitor;
    2. date of birth of the visitor;
    3. date of the security clearance;
    4. file number of the criminal history; and
    5. names of prisoners normally visited;

    This process must ensure that the security check is recorded in IOMS, refer IOMS Online Learning Materials - Visits to the Centre.

    Where a security clearance has been completed and a visitor approved to visit a prisoner at a corrective services facility in Queensland, the visitor is not required to undertake another security check (other than a 12 monthly update security check) before being approved to visit a prisoner at another corrective services facility. This includes not being required to have an initial non-contact visit unless otherwise determined by the chief executive or authorised delegate.

    Refer CSA ss. 326-328, 334, 336-338, 340; appendix - Guidelines for Assessing Criminal Histories of Visitors

    PART C - VISITING A CORRECTIVE SERVICES FACILITY

    11. Booking a Personal Visit

    All personal visits to a prisoner must be booked in advance and the personal visitor must be advised of the identification, dress and behaviour requirements of the facility at the time the booking is made.

    A personal visitor must contact the corrective services facility during nominated booking times to book a visit. The general manager of a facility may make provision for permanent bookings.

    12. Prohibited and Unauthorised Things

    12.1 Prohibited things

    All visitors must be made aware of the consequences of drug trafficking and bringing prohibited things into a corrective services facility, refer section 12.2 of this standard operating procedure. All incidents regarding prohibited things must be fully documented with all officers involved submitting written reports detailing the nature of the incident, refer standard operating procedure - Incident Reporting

    12.2 Unauthorised things

    With the exception of wedding and engagement rings, visitors to a facility must not take any personal items into a facility. All other personal property, including jewellery, is an unauthorised item and must be removed by the visitor and secured prior to a visit. An unauthorised item includes a prohibited thing, refer CSR s. 20

    Visitors found with an unauthorised item in their possession may be required to surrender the item to a corrective services officer. Unauthorised items may be returned to the personal visitor at the completion of the visit. A visitor who refuses to comply with a direction to surrender an unauthorised item may be directed to leave the facility.

    13. Conditions of Entry

    13.1 Imposing and amending conditions

    The general manager may impose conditions on an access approval (refer CSA s. 156(5)(a)). A visitor must be advised of the conditions of access approval to a corrective services facility prior to entry to the facility. This advice must include requirements for compliance with all procedures, standards of dress and submission to any lawful searches that may be requested.

    A visitor undertaking a contact visit session in a high security facility must be advised that use of toilet facilities during a contact visit session will result in the contact visit being terminated. In the event that a contact visit session is terminated for this reason, the visitor may be offered to continue the visit session in the non-contact visit area if a non-contact visit booth is available. Visitors should be advised to use toilet facilities in the visits processing area prior to entering the contact visit session.

    The chief executive or authorised delegate may amend the conditions of an access approval if satisfied that, because of a change in the visitor's circumstances, the visitor poses a risk to the security or good order of the corrective services facility (refer CSA s. 157A(1)).

    If the chief executive or authorised delegate amends the access approval the visitor may, in writing, ask the chief executive or authorised delegate to reconsider the decision, refer CSA s. 157A(4) and Instrument of Delegation of Chief Executive Powers - Corrective Services Act 2006 (in-confidence)..

    13.2 Warning signs

    The general manager of a corrective services facility must ensure the following signs are displayed at the entrance to the facility -

    1. Notice to Visitors - Prohibited Things (consistent with QCS drug strategy);
    2. Notice to Visitors - Lethal Force; and
    3. Notice to Visitors - Appropriate Dress Standards.

    Refer CSA ss. 123(1), 152, 156(5), 157 and 160; CSR s. 20; standard operating procedure - Use of Force; appendices - Prohibited Things; Appropriate Dress Standards.

    13.3 Visitor identification

    On each occasion that a personal visitor enters a corrective services facility, the visitor must sign the visitors' book and provide proof of identification (through the biometric system where available).

    A visitor who has not returned Form 27 - Approval for Access to a Corrective Services Facility and Visit a Prisoner (Personal Visitor) prior to the visit (eg by posting or faxing the form to the facility) may not be granted access into a corrective services facility. Refer section 9 of this standard operating procedure.

    If an electronic scanning or biometric identification system is available at a corrective services facility, visitors 18 years of age or older must be registered on the system. The visitor must be processed on the system when accessing the facility.

    If an adult registered on the identification system attends the facility with children under the age of 18 years, these children may enter the mantrap with the adult to gain access to the facility, refer CSA ss. 162, 163; appendix - Biometric Scanning

    A child visitor who has been granted access approval to visit a corrective services facility can be identified by any one of the identification documents stated in the CSR s. 24(1)(a).

    If an unaccompanied child visitor cannot identify himself or herself by any one of the identification documents stated in CSR s. 24(1)(a), the visitor may prove his or her identity by answering questions about himself or herself, or the prisoner, that sufficiently identify the visitor, refer CSR s. 24(3)

    14. Controlling Access

    14.1 Record of personal visitor detail

    A visitor must not access a facility until verification of identification has occurred. When doubt exists regarding the identification or authorisation of a visitor, the general manager must be consulted for determination.

    The general manager, in controlling access to a facility, must verify and maintain a record of all personal visitors to children (including children) on IOMS. This record must contain the -

    1. name of the visitor;
    2. date of the visit;
    3. time of entry and exit from the facility;
    4. name of the prisoner being visited;
    5. relationship of the visitor to the prisoner;
    6. signature of the visitor;
    7. name of the officer granting approval; and
    8. locker number (if applicable).

    Refer CSA ss. 152, 155-163

    14.2 Corrective services officer's duties

    The duties of a corrective services officer controlling access to a facility and supervision of visitors include -

    1. ensuring that -

      1. appropriate records are maintained of all visitors who enter or exit the facility;
      2. any search activities conducted within the visits area are recorded (refer standard operating procedure - Gate Books, Log Books and Registers);
      3. all visitors entering the facility have provided appropriate identification;
      4. all visitors entering the facility comply with the appropriate dress standards (refer appendix - Appropriate Dress Standards);
      5. prisoners and visitors demonstrate socially acceptable behaviour at all times; and
      6. the allocation of seating arrangements is consistent with the appropriate level of supervision required;

    2. preventing the trafficking of drugs, prohibited articles and contraband;
    3. in a secure facility-providing for a visitor's personal property to be placed in a locker prior to visits;
    4. a person who appears intoxicated or under the influence of an illicit substance is refused entry to the facility;
    5. a visitor is searched in a considerate and appropriate manner, refer Part D of this standard operating procedure; and
    6. all visits are monitored.

    15. Directions to Visitors

    A corrective services officer may give a visitor a direction the officer considers reasonably necessary for the security or good order of the corrective services facility or a person's safety (refer CSA s. 163).

    A visitor who breaches a condition of access approval, fails to comply with a direction of the general manager or prejudices the security and good order of a facility may be directed to leave the facility. Reasonable force may be used to remove a visitor from a facility if the visitor fails to comply with a direction to leave the facility.

    Refer CSA ss. 123(1), 152, 156(5), 157 and 160; CSR s. 20; standard operating procedure - Use of Force; appendices - Prohibited Things; Appropriate Dress Standards

    16. Suspension of Access Approval

    The chief executive or authorised delegate of a facility may suspend access approval for a personal visitor if the visitor -

    1. fails to comply with a lawful and reasonable direction; or
    2. fails to comply with a condition of the approval; or
    3. is charged with an offence; or
    4. engages in threatening behaviour towards a prisoner or another visitor at the facility.

    Also, the chief executive or authorised delegate may suspend access approval if he or she reasonably believes the suspension is necessary to preserve the security or good order of the corrective services facility.

    The chief executive or authorised delegate may suspend access approval for a period of up to 1 year (refer CSA s. 157(2)(a)). If the visitor has been charged with an offence allegedly committed in a corrective services facility access approval may be suspended until the end of the proceedings for the offence.

    The appendix - Suggested Suspension Periods sets out suggested periods of suspension for certain kinds of conduct. General managers are required to consider the merits of an individual case when determining the period of suspension, if any, that will apply.

    Refer CSA s 157; appendix - Suspend/Revoke Access Approval

    17. Revoking Access to a Corrective Services Facility

    The chief executive or authorised delegate may revoke a visitor's access if satisfied that, because of a change in the visitor's circumstances, the visitor poses a risk to the security or good order of the corrective services facility, refer CSA s. 157A(1).

    If the chief executive or authorised delegate revokes the access approval, a written record must be made stating the reasons for the decision, CSA s. 157A(4). A review of this decision may be requested, refer CSA s. 157A(6).

    Refer CSA s. 157A; appendix - Suspend/Revoke Access Approval

    18. Prisoner Refusing Visit

    If a prisoner refuses to see a personal visitor, the visitor must be advised of this decision either by -

    1. the prisoner advising the visitor in person;
    2. the prisoner providing the refusal in writing, which must be handed to the visitor by a corrective services officer; or
    3. a corrective services officer, who has been advised by the prisoner of his/her decision, advising the visitor in person.

    A supporting case note must be made on IOMS.

    19. Storage of Visitor's Possessions

    Lockers or other appropriate storage facilities for the safe keeping of a visitor's possessions must be provided at secure facilities. QCS accepts no responsibility and liability for loss or damage caused to a personal visitor's possessions stored in a corrective services facility.

    Refer CSA ss. 128, 152(2); standard operating procedures - Incident Reporting; Control of Access to a Facility (in-confidence); appendix - Prohibited Things

    20. Searching of Prisoners and Visits Facilities

    20.1 Visits areas - high and low security facilities

    A search of all visits areas and visitors' storage lockers must be conducted prior to the commencement of visits and immediately after the conclusion of visits. A record must be maintained of all searches conducted.

    Refer CSA s. 174

    20.2 Prisoners - all facilities

    All prisoners must wear prison issued thongs when attending a visit from a personal visitor unless other footwear is approved by the general manager.

    All prisoners entering and leaving a visits area may be subject to a search requiring the removal of clothing.

    Refer standard operating procedure - Search - Prisoners and Corrective Services Facilities.

    21. Visits

    21.1 Visiting times

    The duration of a personal visit will be determined by the general manager of the corrective services facility.

    21.2 Contact visits

    Contact visits may be permitted in an area specifically designated for contact visits and that is within sight of a corrective services officer. A personal visitor must not enter a prisoner's accommodation area.

    During a personal visit, a personal visitor must -

    1. prove their identity when requested to do so;
    2. display their visitor's pass at all times;
    3. sign the visitor's book (adult to sign for a child visitor);
    4. comply with any directions from the supervising corrective services officer;
    5. not behave in a disorderly, indecent, offensive, riotous or violent manner; and
    6. not engage in any sexual activity with a prisoner..

    If a visitor, including a child, requires the use of toilet facilities during a contact visit session in a high security facility, the contact visit must be terminated. The visitor should be offered to continue the visit session in the non-contact visit area if a non-contact visit booth is available, refer section 12.1 of this standard operating procedure.

    21.3 Visiting times and areas for child sex offenders

    Visiting times for child sex offenders must, if possible, be separate to those of other prisoners. If this cannot be managed, visits to child sex offenders should take place in a separate section of the visits area. Visitors to child sex offenders must be advised about available times to visit.

    Refer CSA ss. 153, 154(3), 156(5)(a), 160-163; Form 27 - Approval for Access to a Corrective Services Facility and Visit a Prisoner (Personal Visitor); appendix - Appropriate Dress Standards

    22. Medical Assistance for Visitors to Prisoners

    Refer Offender Health Services procedure - Health Services

    PART D - SEARCHING OF PERSONAL VISITORS

    23. Search of a Visitor

    Only those searches of visitors as prescribed under the CSA s 159 may be conducted by corrective services officers within corrective services facilities. Refer also Instrument of Delegation of Chief Executive Powers - Corrective Services Act 2006 (in-confidence).

    The search of a personal visitor to a corrective services facility by a corrective services officer is restricted to a scanning search or a general search, refer - CSA s 159

    A scanning search may include -

    1. scanning by a static or hand held metal detector
    2. visitor property by an x-ray scanning device,
    3. by screening by an electronic drug detection device, and/or
    4. by screening by Passive Alert Drug Detection Dogs or mobile telephone detection trained dog.

    The only exceptions to the above are those people with a recognised medical condition who may react to electronic scanning devices.

    A personal visitor who refuses to submit to a search may be dealt with in accordance with Corrective Services Act s 159(3). Appropriate documentation must be maintained for all scan, screening and search activities.

    24. Visitors to a High Security Facility

    All visitors to a high security facility must be subject to screening with a metal detector. The metal detector may be a hand held device or an automatic target detection device. Personal visitors of a prisoner who enter a high security facility may be required to submit to both a scanning search and a general search where the visit is a contact visit, All personal property of the visitor must be subject to a scanning search by an x-ray device and general search by a corrective services officer. refer CSA s 159

    25. Visitors to a Low Security Facility

    The general manager or authorised delegate of a low security facility may require a personal visitor to submit to a scanning search or a general search before permitting the visitor to enter the facility or visit a prisoner for a contact visit. If a visitor refuses to submit to a scanning search or a general search, the visit may only proceed as a non-contact visit where agreement to a scanning search is obtained from all parties involved. Where non-contact visit facilities are not available, the visit may be refused.

    26. Searches Involving Children

    The chief executive or authorised delegate may request of an adult visitor who is responsible for an accompanying child, including an infant, that the child undergo a scanning and/or general search.

    Where an adult visitor, responsible for an accompanying child, refuses to give permission for the child to submit to a scanning and/or general search or to provide assistance for the child to be searched -

    1. neither the visitor nor any child accompanying the visitor may be permitted to proceed with a contact visit; and
    2. a non-contact visit may be approved where agreement to a scanning search of all parties is obtained.

    27. Responsibilities of Officers Conducting Searches

    When conducting a search of a visitor, 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;
    2. items seized during a search, where appropriate, will be 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; and
    3. when searching a visitor's property, care is exercised to avoid damage to the property.

    28. Powers of a QPS Officer to Search a Person/s Without a Warrant

    Officers of the QPS have a discretionary power to determine if and when a search requiring the removal of clothing of a person is warranted, refer - Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000 (PPRA) ss 29, 30.

    A QPS officer who reasonably suspects any of the prescribed circumstances for searching a person without a warrant may -

    1. stop and detain a person; and
    2. search a person and anything in the person's possession for anything relevant to the circumstances for which the person is detained.

    For prescribed circumstances where a QPS officer may search a person without warrant, refer s30 PPRA.

    29. Search of a Visitor at the Direction of a Police Officer

    A person of the same gender as the visitor may be directed by a QPS officer under s 624 PPRA, to conduct a search requiring the removal of clothing of a personal visitor if there is no police officer of the same sex available to conduct the search.

    If a corrective services officer is directed by a QPS officer to conduct such a search of a personal visitor, the corrective services officer must ensure that the search is conducted in a manner that causes minimal embarrassment to, and protects the dignity of, the visitor.

    The following method should be adopted when, at the direction of a QPS officer, a search of a personal visitor requires the removal of clothing -

    1. the visitor must be instructed to remove all clothing except underclothes and may be allowed to remain partly clothed during the search. However, all clothing, including shoes, must be searched;
    2. the visitor must face the officer and spread his/her arms and legs for a visual search;
    3. the visitor must spread all fingers and display both open hands at the same time, turning them over for inspection;
    4. the visitor must run his/her fingers through his/her hair;
    5. the visitor's mouth and ears must be inspected;
    6. the visitor must raise each foot and wiggle the toes;
    7. the visitor must be instructed to remove upper underclothes as follows-

      1. discretion may be used to allow the visitor to face away from the officer; and
      2. the upper underclothes must be searched and returned to the visitor who may put them on;

    8. the visitor must then be instructed to remove the lower underclothes as follows-
    9. discretion may be used to allow the visitor to face away from the officer; and
    10. the lower underclothes must be searched and returned to the visitor who may put them on; and
    11. the searched outer clothing must then be returned to the visitor who may put them on.

    If an item of clothing is seized during this search, suitable replacement clothing must be provided.

    When a corrective services officer is directed by a QPS officer to conduct a search requiring the removal of clothing of a visitor, the search must be recorded in a hard copy format register or log book. The record must include -

    1. the corrective services officer/s names directed by the police officer to conduct the search,
    2. the directing QPS officer's name and signature;
    3. date and time search conducted;
    4. name of the person/s searched; and
    5. the results of the search

    Refer administrative form - Example of a Search Register

    30. Temporary Detention for a Security Offence

    If a corrective services officer -

    1. finds a person committing a security offence; or
    2. finds a person in circumstances that lead, or has information that leads, the officer to reasonably suspect the person has just committed a security offence.

    the corrective services officer may, using reasonably necessary force-

    1. conduct a general search or scanning search of the person; and
    2. search anything in the person's possession, including a motor vehicle.

    The corrective services officer may, using reasonably necessary force, detain the person until the person can be handed over to a police officer. However, the person must not be detained for longer than 4 hours.

    Security offence means an offence against part 3 - General Offences CSA , or another offence, that poses a risk to-

    1. the security or good order of a corrective services facility; or
    2. the security of a prisoner or a prisoner of a court

    Refer CSA s 136 and Instrument of Limitation of a Corrective Services Officers' Powers.

    Person for this section does not include a prisoner, other than a prisoner who is released on parole or a supervised dangerous prisoner (sexual offender).Person for this section does not include a prisoner, other than a prisoner, refer CSA s 125.

    If a search, other than a general or scanning search, appears to be justified, only the QPS may make this determination whether to do so under the PPRA.

    31. Preservation of Evidence and Disposal of Seized Property

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

    32. Code of Conduct

    The general manager must ensure that all personnel operating closed circuit television monitoring and other recording devices are instructed on, and acknowledge the intent of, the Code of Conduct for the Queensland Public Service or where appropriate, the code of conduct provided by an engaged service provider. and standard operating procedure Security Management Systems.

    Endorsed by:

    PETER BOTTOMLEY

    Deputy Commissioner, Statewide Operations

    Approved by:





    MARLENE MORISON
    Commissioner





    Version History

    10/12/2012 Version 01