Contacting a prisoner

The best way to get in touch with a prisoner is to write to them.

Locating a prisoner

Privacy and information legislation prevents us from providing any information over the phone.

Send the letter by post to:

The Prisoner's full name and date of birth
C/O Department for Correctional Services
GPO Box 1747
Adelaide SA 5001

If the person is in prison, we will check if there are intervention orders preventing contact. If not, we will forward your mail to them and they can contact you.

If the person is not in prison, we will return your mail to you.

People who have just been arrested will be in police custody and not in prison.

Phone calls

All phone calls to prisoners are carefully monitored and recorded. The only exceptions are calls made to common access numbers - eg Centrelink, child support and various support groups.

Mobile phones are taken from the prisoner during the admission process. The prisoner must organise for their phone to be collected within two weeks otherwise it will be disposed of.

Calls from prisoners

When they're admitted, prisoners can nominate up to 10 phone numbers that they may want to call during their time in prison. This includes the numbers of legal professionals and support groups.

The nominated numbers are then authorised and entered into the telephone system. This may take up to 24 hours. After that, the prisoner will be able to make phone calls.

Prisoners must have money in their telephone account before they can make calls. When they call a number the recipient will get a recorded message asking if they want to accept the call. Calls are normally limited to 10 minutes.

Calls to prisoners

No one can call a prisoner without approval. If someone calls for a prisoner, a message can be taken and passed on to the prisoner as soon as practical.

Letters and packages

All mail to prisoners is recorded, opened and examined. Legal mail can't be opened, but it must have an official recognised stamp on it.

These processing procedures mean prison mail will take up to two days longer to arrive than regular mail.

Sending mail to prisoners

When sending mail to a prison, make sure a return address is clearly visible on the envelope or package.

Parcels must be approved by the prison general manager before they are sent into a prison. Once approval is given, the prisoner will be provided with a confirmation slip. 

Mail and parcels are subject to all the property rules that apply in prison:

  • the value of an item can't exceed $500
  • size is restricted to 60 litres.

Letters from prisoners

Prisoners are encouraged to write to family and friends. Materials are available through the canteen system. Mail is sent by regular post and there is no express delivery or registered mail.

If there is an intervention order preventing a prisoner from contacting an individual, then mail to that person will not be posted.

Was this page useful?

Thanks for contributing - your feedback helps us improve this website.

Page last updated 28 January 2021

Provided by:
Department for Correctional Services
Last Updated:
Printed on:
Copyright statement:
SA.GOV.AU is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Licence. © Copyright 2023