Remand prisoners are allowed up to three visitors at a time, three times in each week [see Correctional Services Act 1982 (SA) s 34(2) and Correctional Services Regulations 2016 (SA) reg 39(2)]. Other prisoners are allowed one visit, of up to three people, once in each two week period [see s 34(1) and reg 39(1)].
Prisoners are allowed visits from their lawyers, which do not count as personal visits if they are for legal business [Correctional Services Act 1982 (SA) s 35(2)]. Lawyers are guided by the Department for Correctional Services Professional Visits Guide.
The Chief Executive of the Department can permit extra visits for special reasons (although this is very rare) and can also stop a particular person from visiting a prisoner.
The following restrictions also apply to visitors:
See Correctional Services Act 1982 s 34(4).
If a person would like to request approval of the Chief Executive to visit a prisoner, they should do so by letter to:
Chief Executive Custodial Services
GPO Box 1747
ADELAIDE SA 5001
The letter should cover things such as:
If the approval is sought for a child to visit a prisoner serving imprisonment in relation to child sex offences, the letter should also cover the child's relationship to the prisoner and whether the child was a victim of the offending.
The Chief Executive will respond to requests for approval by return letter.
Where the Chief Executive has:
then this information may not be disclosed to any other person, and the Chief Executive is not required to provide any grounds or reasons for the decision other than it was made in the public interest [see s 6(1) and (2)].
The Chief Executive also has the ability to exclude a person from entering, or visiting a correctional institution where the person:
This power extends to excluding the person from all correctional institutions of a particular class, or all correctional institutions generally.
See Correctional Services Act 1982 (SA) s 85A(1) and (2).
A prisoner is entitled to send and receive letters but the Chief Executive may cause all mail, whether it is sent from or to a prisoner, to be opened and examined to check whether it contravenes section 33 of the Correctional Services Act 1982 [see s 33(4)]. The Chief Executive must advise a prisoner of any action taken in respect of any letters sent from or to prisoners [s 33(12)].
Letters sent from a prisoner to certain public authorities or a legal practitioner cannot be opened [see s 33(7)]. Similarly, if the authorised officer is satisfied a letter sent from certain public authorities or a legal practitioner, they may not open the letter [see s 33(8)].
The Chief Executive has a discretion as to what goods prisoners may receive [see s 33A].
Phone calls and other communication
Prisoners may not receive telephone calls, but may make a limited number of outgoing calls each week. The rules as to the number of calls that may be made vary from prison to prison. Prison officers can also disconnect telephone calls and prisoners are only permitted to telephone a limited number of phone numbers.
The Chief Executive has the power to monitor or record a prisoner's communication with another person. Communication is defined broadly to include conversation or message in any form or combination of forms. However, the parties to the communication must be informed about the monitoring or recording. If the Chief Executive has authorised a particular communication beforehand then the Chief Executive must not monitor or record it [see Correctional Services Act 1982 (SA) s 35A].