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COVID safe in-person visits


COVID-19 UPDATE: COVID-Safe in-person visits will recommence from Monday 18 January 2021 in line with local visitng arrangements. Know the COVID-Safe measures before you book. 

In-person visit bookings will be available from Friday 15 January 2021. 

Video visits continue to be available. 

Visit information can change at any time in line with Helath advice. 


Visits may now consist of: Two adults; or one adult and up to three children under the age of 18.

The safety of our staff and inmates remains our top priority. 

Key COVID-Safe measures remain in place. The main change is an increase in the number of children permitted per visit.

All visitors will be required to comply with safety measures such as, physical distancing, screening criteria and use of personal protective equipment (surgical masks). Correctional facilities are particularly vulnerable environments and we all need to work together to reduce the risk of COVID-19 entering our centres. 

We continue to monitor the situation closely and rely on the advice of NSW Health to ensure the safety of staff, inmates and visitors. 

Visit information may change at any time if an increased risk of COVID-19 is identified. 

Resources

Frequently asked questions for visitors

Who do COVID-safe in-person visits apply to?

COVID-Safe procedures apply to all in-person visitors.

COVID-Safe procedures will also apply to solicitors and other professionals.

Bookings for these visits should be made via existing procedures.

COVID-Safety measures – what you need to know

What safety measures apply to visits?

The following safety measures are in place to keep staff, inmates and visitors safe:

  • Visits may now consist of: two adults; or one adult and up to three children under the age of 18
  • A requirement for surgical masks to be worn for the entire visit. Removing the mask will result in the visit being terminated. Children under 12 are not required to wear a surgical mask.
  • A fist or elbow bump at the beginning and end of the visit is allowed but inmates and visitors must maintain physical distance at all other times.
  • The overall number of visits available has been reduced to support physical distancing.
  • Visits will run for a maximum of 30 minutes per visit to reduce the risk of transmission.
  • No food or drinks will be available as these can spread germs.
  • All visits must be pre-booked, no walk-in visits will be permitted.
  • Hand sanitiser will be available and hand hygiene must be performed before and after a visit.

What happens if I ignore the safety measures?

These measures are in place to protect you, your loved one and our staff.

Failure to comply with the safety measures and instructions from staff may result in your visit being terminated and a potential ban may be put in place for a period to ensure the safety of staff and inmates can be maintained.

If for any reason any person removes their face mask during the visit the visit will be terminated immediately.

Will physical distancing rules apply to in-person social visits?

Yes, in line with NSW Health advice physical distancing will be enforced. 

Inmate and visitor/s must maintain physical distance for the duration of the visit. This condition is for your safety and the health and wellbeing of everyone. 

As with all areas of our facilities, the visits areas will be continuously cleaned with a focus on commonly touched surfaces.

Why are there limits to the number of people who can attend a visit?

To comply with physical distancing guidelines the number of visitors per inmate must be restricted and will gradually increase over time.

Can I wear my own mask to a visit?

No, you will be issued a surgical mask for your visit. You will not be allowed to wear your own mask.

Screening requirements – what you need to know

What are the screening requirements?

Since mid-March, anyone entering a correctional centre has been required to meet screening criteria. This will now apply to in-person visitors. As with all our safety measures, they are designed to reduce the risk of transmission within our facilities.

Screening requirements include:

  • Temperature check If your temperature is 37.5OC or higher you will not be permitted to enter.
  • You will be required to provide current contact details so that NSW Health can contact you if contact tracing is required.
  • You will be asked about your current health and whether you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.
  • You will be asked about your recent travel and whether you have been to any NSW Health "self-isolate and get tested immediately' locations in the last 14 days. We recommend reviewing the NSW Government Case Locations website before visiting.

If your responses to the screening questions present a COVID-19 risk, your visit will be rescheduled. 

The screening process is designed to reduce the risk of COVID-19 entering our facilities, we are relying on you to answer honestly and help us keep inmates, staff and visitors safe.

What is involved in the visitor screening process?

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 entering our correctional centre, we will be screening visitors before the normal visit processing occurs.

This means you may be asked about your health, whether you have been to any locations where NSW Health is directing people to 'self-isolate and get tested immediately' and any travel that you have done recently.

You will have your temperature tested and will be refused entry if it is 37.5 degrees Celsius or higher.

You will also be required to sanitise your hands and put on a surgical mask before entering the centre.

No food or drink will be available for purchase during the visit.

These measures are to identify any potential risks and to keep everyone safe.

How long will the screening process take?

We recommend arriving 30 minutes before your visit to allow time for the screening process. If it is your first visit since March, in addition to COVID-19 screening you will have your photograph taken for our biometrics system. Under legislation we are required to delete all biometric records every six-months so all visitors require new photographs.

What if the person I am visiting with fails to meet the screening criteria, can the visit still go ahead with one visitor?

No. Unfortunately, neither of you will be permitted to visit and you will need to reschedule.

Visit bookings

How can I book an in-person visit?

Bookings for in-person visits will open from Wednesday 18 November 2020.

Visits can be booked over the phone by contacting the correctional centre directly. Contact a correctional centre.

How do I make a video visit booking?

Video visits can be booked during normal visit booking times by contacting the correctional centre directly by telephone.

I tried to make a booking but there were no more visit times available, when will I be able to visit?

To comply with physical distancing guidelines, the number of visits available are much less than normal. The capacity of each centre depends on the size of their visits area.

We may not be able to accommodate every request for an in-person visit in the first instance.

Inmates in quarantine (first 14-days of custody) or isolation due to displaying COVID-19 symptoms cannot have in-person visits.

Child visitors

Can children attend a visit?

Yes. Visits may consist of: two adults; or one adult and up to three children. 

We know maintaining family connections are an important part of inmate rehabilitation. Our staff will manage these interactions in the most compassionate way possible. Given the need to apply physical distancing rules we ask that parents and/or guardians of children be aware that it may be a challenging and confusing environment for children.

Video visits will continue to be available and we encourage parents and/or guardians to consider whether video visits may continue to be the best option for children during this time. 

Playground facilities will not be in use due to the need for one person to supervise and that will not be possible under current restrictions.

Video visits

Will inmates still have access to video visits?

Yes. We know how much family and friends and inmates have enjoyed video visits during the pandemic and we will continue to provide this service on an ongoing basis.

As the risk of COVID-19 remains very real we encourage visitors to continue to access video visits as their first choice to help keep everyone safe.

More information

For more information about COVID-Safe visits, email us: GeneralEnquiries_CSNSW@justice.nsw.gov.au or call us on (02) 8346 1300 8:30am-4:30pm Monday to Friday.

View the latest case locations in NSW or NSW Health for the latest statistics and advice. 

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We acknowledge Aboriginal people as the First Nations Peoples of NSW and pay our respects to Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the ongoing connection Aboriginal people have to this land and recognise Aboriginal people as the original custodians of this land.

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