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.
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.
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;
- 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.
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.
03 Dec 2020