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Procedure Properties

Title: Media Access and Public Speaking Engagements
Category: Support Services
Version: 05
Implement Date: 27 February 2008
Application: Agency
Availability: Public

Authority

Appendices and Forms

Procedures

Policies

Performance Measures

  • Nil

Procedure - Media Access and Public Speaking Engagements


Purpose
1.Definitions
2.Media access and public speaking principles
3.Media requests and public speaking enquiries - general
3.1Request to interview or photograph
3.2Reporting on local or social interest issues
3.3Media access to employees and public speaking requests
4.Decision and consent
5.Response to media and public speaking requests
6.Conditions for access to offenders and corrective services facilities
6.1Media access to certain offenders
7.Interference to the effective and efficient management of a facility or premises
10.Ministerial Senior Media Adviser

Purpose

To provide a process for the evaluation of requests from media representatives and organisations seeking access to corrective services facilities, offenders and Agency employees.

1. Definitions

In this procedure a reference to-

  1. “employees” of the Agency includes all persons appointed or authorised under the Corrective Services Act 2006 (CSA), contractors, engaged service providers and volunteers.
  2. “corrective services facilities”, as defined in Schedule 4 of the CSA, includes a probation and parole office and a corrective services facility managed by an engaged service provider.

2. Media access and public speaking principles

The Agency is committed to open and accountable operations. The Agency understands that public interest can be served through appropriate media access to offenders and corrective services facilities. Public confidence can be enhanced through improved public understanding of the operations of the correctional system.

Some offenders, for a variety of reasons, continue to be of media interest after they have been sentenced to a term of imprisonment and a range of applications are received from media outlets seeking interviews with or access to some offenders.

The decision whether to grant media access or to permit public speaking engagements is made on a case by case basis having regard to the relevant merits of each application and the consideration of a number of factors including: issues of privacy and confidentiality; prison security and good order; the safe custody and well being of offenders; and the interests of victims of crime and their families.

3. Media requests and public speaking enquiries - general

All media requests for information and media and public speaking enquiries must be referred to the Director, Media and Communications for consideration.

3.1 Request to interview or photograph

A media request to interview or photograph an offender or any part of a corrective services facility must be referred to the Director, Media and Communications.

The Director, Media and Communications, must forward the media organisation administrative form - Request to Interview an Offender/Photograph Facility and Form 27(a) - Application to Visit - Professional, Official or Other Business Purposes for completion by the media organisation.

The media organisation is required to detail the reason for the interview/photograph. It must also declare whether the offender or any other person associated with the offender will be paid for the interview.

Once the above forms have been returned, the Director, Media and Communications, must generate a Media Access Submission (in-confidence) to the Director-General and complete the section 'Media Request Details' (including reason for the request).

The Media Access Submission (in-confidence) must then be forwarded to the relevant Directorate (Custodial Operations if the offender is in a high or low security facility or Probation and Parole if the offender is on a parole).

The relevant Directorate must complete the sections 'Offender Details/Facility Details' and 'Considerations'.

The Media Access Submission (in-confidence) must then be endorsed by the relevant Assistant Director-General with a recommendation to the Director-General.

3.2 Reporting on local or social interest issues

Publicity regarding local or social interest issues may be sought by the general manager or a regional manager after consultation with the Director, Media and Communications and approval by the Director-General. Examples of such issues include-

  1. staff achievements;
  2. interstate or overseas VIP visits;
  3. activities or work undertaken by offenders which are seen as adding public value;
  4. presentation of industry enterprises; and
  5. plays, art and craft shows, open days, concerts and social functions.

3.3 Media access to employees and public speaking requests

If an employee of the Agency is approached by the media to be interviewed, photographed or to participate in any media-related or public speaking activity pertaining to corrective services, the employee must, through his/her relevant directorate office, contact the Director, Media and Communications who will refer the matter to the Director-General for determination.

The Director, Media and Communications will inform the employee of the outcome of the Director-General's deliberations. Employees must not initiate contact with the media or public on any correctional issue without first contacting the Director, Media and Communications and obtaining the consent of the Director-General.

With respect to confidential correctional information, employees must not divulge in any manner, supply or provide either directly or indirectly or through any other person any document, or copies of such documents, to the media, unauthorised persons or organisations without the prior approval of the Director-General or relevant delegate. Refer CSA, s. 341.

In the event of an incident where on-site management of media representatives is required, advice must be sought from the Director, Media and Communications.

Refer CSA, s. 341; Public Sector Ethics Act 1994, ss. 7 - 11; Code of Conduct; procedure - Disclosure of Confidential Information and administrative form - Consent to Media Access and Publication of Personal Information.

4. Decision and consent

Following consideration of the Media Access Submission (in-confidence) if the request is to photograph a facility or part of a facility, the Director-General will decide to either-

  1. approve the request; or
  2. refuse the request.

If the request is to interview an offender, the Director-General will decide to either-

  1. give conditional approval (subject to the offender's consent) for the interview; or
  2. refuse the request for the interview.

The Director-General may impose conditions on the media access to an offender/facility.

If the Director-General has provided conditional approval to interview or photograph an offender, the general manager of the corrective services facility at which the offender is being accommodated or the regional manager of the probation and parole region in which the offender is being supervised (as appropriate) will ensure that the offender-

  1. understands the nature of the media inquiry;
  2. has consented to being identified; and
  3. has accepted all liability by signing administrative form - Consent to Media Access and Publication of Personal Information.

The signed consent form must be forwarded to the Director, Media and Communications as soon as practicable.

5. Response to media and public speaking requests

In relation to media issues, the Director, Media and Communications is responsible for advising the relevant media organisation of the decision of the Director-General.

If conditional approval has been granted by the Director-General and the offender has consented to the interview, the Director, Media and Communications must liaise with the media organisation and the general manager of the corrective services facility or the regional manager of the relevant probation and parole region (as appropriate).

Any conditions placed on the interview must be communicated in writing to the media organisation.

Advice of the Director-General's approval for a media request to interview or photograph an offender or any part of a corrective services facility must be received by the relevant general manager or regional manager before media access can be permitted.

In relation to public speaking requests, the Director, Media and Communications is responsible for advising the relevant directorate of the decision of the Director-General.

6. Conditions for access to offenders and corrective services facilities

Refer CSA, ss. 132, 263, 265 and Form 27(a) - Application to Visit - Professional, Official or Other Business Purposes.

6.1 Media access to certain offenders

When deciding whether to approve or refuse a request to interview an offender, regard will be had to the purpose of the interview and all relevant considerations. Although each case will be considered having regard to its merits, it is unlikely that a request to interview would be approved in circumstances if-

  1. the offender is on remand for an offence/s and consequently an interview could impact upon the trial or appeal of the person;
  2. access to the offender may adversely affect the security or good order of a corrective services facility;
  3. the interview could adversely affect the safe custody and welfare of the offender or any other person or the supervision of the offender in the community;
  4. the interview could embarrass, injure or distress the victims of crime or their families;
  5. the person is being detained for immigration purposes on behalf of the Commonwealth; or
  6. the interview is likely to glorify the offending or add to the notoriety of the offender.

7. Interference to the effective and efficient management of a facility or premises

The general manager or regional manager must ensure that if media access is granted to a corrective services facility or other premises used for correctional purposes, there is no interference with the effective and efficient management/operations of the facility or premises.

10. Ministerial Senior Media Adviser

The Director, Media and Communications will ensure that the Ministerial Senior Media Adviser is-

  1. informed of any media request for access to any corrective services facility, offender or employee;
  2. consulted as necessary during the decision making process in relation to such requests; and
  3. informed as a matter of urgency, of any event or incident associated with the correctional system that has the potential to generate publicity.

The Director, Media and Communications has sole responsibility for contacting the Minister. Agency employees must consult with the Director, Media and Communications, who will liaise with the relevant Ministerial staff.





F P Rockett
Director-General





Version History

27/02/2008 Version 05 [Media Access and Public Speaking Engagements]- 28/08/2006 Version 04 [Media Access] - 28/02/2006 Version 03 - 25/10/2004 Version 02