Prison offences for which a prisoner may be punished include breaking the rules of the prison, the keeping of prohibited items in cells, gambling, assaulting prison officers, other prisoners or any other person, using indecent, abusive or insolent language and refusing or failing to carry out prison work [Correctional Services Act 1982 (SA) ss 42A, 43, 44 and 83 and Correctional Services Regulations 2016 (SA) regs 14-21].
A breach of prison regulations may be dealt with in different ways depending on the type of regulation. If the matter is categorised as a minor breach, the Chief Executive can notify the prisoner in writing of the alleged breach [s 42A]. The prisoner may, within twenty four hours of receiving notice, write to the Chief Executive (or an employee of the Department) and ask to be charged with the offence and have the matter formally heard. The Chief Executive must then conduct an inquiry into the allegation in the manner prescribed.
If the prisoner does nothing or elects not to have a formal hearing, the Chief Executive can proceed to impose penalties which include forfeiture of specified privileges for up to 10 days or be excluded from working with other prisoners for up to 10 days.
More serious breaches actually require the Chief Executive to hold an inquiry or for the Visiting Tribunal to hold a formal hearing [ss 43(1) and 44(1)].
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