Corrective Services NSW

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What to expect

We understand that if you're visiting somebody in prison for the first time, you might be anxious about the experience or unsure of what visitors can and cannot do. The following information will help you prepare and increase the chance of your visit being a positive experience.

Dress code

Correctional centres enforce strict conditions of entry. This includes a dress code. If you fail to abide by the dress code, the correctional centre may deny you entry or terminate your visit. So, please read the following guidelines carefully:

  • Visitors must wear appropriate clothing to the centre.
    • The following are prohibited: exposed midriffs; low-cut, backless, sleeveless, or strapless shirts; singlets; short skirts; and shorts.
  • Visitors must remove all jewellery, including ear and body piercings. Wedding bands are permitted.
  • Visitors must not wear hooded jumpers or jackets, scarves, handkerchiefs, hats or sunglasses.
  • Visitors cannot take personal items such as wallets, purses, jewellery, cigarettes, lighters or mobile phones into the visits area. These items must be left in a locker in the visiting reception area.

Individual correctional centres may have additional rules regarding the visitor dress code. Please check the page for the correctional centre you will be visiting for more information.

Privacy

Correctional Services New South Wales follows a strict privacy policy designed to protect the personal information that we collect from visitors. Your personal information helps us to ensure your safety, as well as the safety of staff members and offenders at CSNSW facilities. For more information, please see our privacy information for visitors factsheet.

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Visitors must not bring prohibited items such as guns, knives, alcohol and syringes into a correctional centre or onto a correctional complex. This includes the visitor car park. Visitors must leave their cigarettes and mobile phones in secure lockers provided at each centre. Corrective Services has dogs trained to detect prohibited items.

If staff have a reasonable suspicion that a visitor may be carrying prohibited items, the visitor may be asked to remove their outer clothing. If a child is accompanying the visitor, the child’s outer clothing, such as jacket, hat and shoes may need to be removed. CSNSW staff are not permitted to conduct strip searches or physically remove any clothing from visitors including children.

As part of a general search, visitors may be asked to:

  • Turn out any pockets and a child’s pockets
  • Open bags or other personal belongings, including children’s prams and capsules
  • Be scanned head-to-toe with a hand-held scanning device
  • Walk through a metal detector
  • Undergo full body x-ray scanning
  • Stand still while a drug detection dog walks around them.

CSNSW staff are permitted to detain a visitor if prohibited items are found, in which case the police may be called to conduct further enquiries or searches, including strip searches.

New security procedures

Corrective Services NSW (CSNSW) has introduced full body x-ray scanning to further enhance safety and security. The Crimes (Administration of Sentences) Regulation 2014 enables searches of visitors by x-ray scanning.

Personal visitors to inmates will be subject to body scanning on entry to correctional centres. Legal professionals and contractors will be exempt from full body x-ray scanning.

Demonstration video: Full body x-ray scanning in NSW Correctional Centres

There is no medical reason why a person cannot be screened using the body scanners. For example, if you are under 18 years of age, pregnant, or have a pace-maker you can still be body scanned.

You have the right to refuse any security screening process, including full body x-ray scanning. However, if you refuse to be body scanned you will either be asked to leave the correctional centre or you may be offered a non-contact (box) visit if one is available and required to undergo an alternative screening method.

Further information on full body x-ray scanning processes in correctional centres is available in the following resource:

Fact-sheet for visitors: Full body x-ray scanning (PDF , 264.2 KB)

Full body x-ray scanner

The full body x-ray scanner produces an image of the whole body to show items that may be concealed by a person. 

Persons undergoing the scan will be exposed to a very low dose of radiation. In NSW, the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) set the maximum amount of radiation exposure a person can receive in accordance with the Radiation Control Act 1990 and Radiation Control Regulation 2013.

The radiation dose is minimal, and the dosage is comparable to a number of routine activities in the community. For example, 50 scans over 12 months is equivalent to the background radiation from a return international air flight.

Shoes, jackets and bulky outerwear are required to be removed to ensure the most effective and efficient scan is achieved. 

There is no medical reason why a person cannot be screened using the body scanners. For example, if you are under 18 years of age, pregnant, or have a pace-maker you can still be body scanned.

You have the right to refuse any security screening process, including full body x-ray scanning. However, if you refuse to be body scanned you will either be asked to leave the correctional centre or you may be offered a non-contact (box) visit if one is available and required to undergo an alternative screening method.

Further information on full body x-ray scanning processes in correctional centres is available in the following resources:

·        Fact sheet for visitors: Full body x-ray scanning (PDF , 264.2 KB)

·        Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Full body x-ray scanning of visitors

If you require any further information please contact the prison directly or email general.enquiries_csnsw@justice.nsw.gov.au.

Smoking ban

Correctional Services New South Wales has banned smoking for staff, inmates and visitors at all NSW correctional centres. This means that cigarettes, tobacco and other smoking-related items, such as matches, lighters and e-cigarettes, will be banned from prisons and treated like all other contraband. Visitors must not smoke on the premises, including in the correctional centre car park.


Last updated:

30 Nov 2021

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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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