Visiting a prisoner
COVID-19 - important information for visitors to prisons
All domestic visits to South Australian prisons are suspended for two weeks from Tuesday 17 November 2020.
More information - Department for Correctional Services
Prisoners must nominate who can visit them and any person not on a prisoner's contact list will not be allowed to visit.
All visitors including children must be approved prior to visiting. Anyone who has been in prison in the last 12 months will not be allowed to visit.
Family and friends
Booking a visit
All visits must be arranged in advance and can be booked by phoning the prison. The request will then need to be approved.
Each prison has its own visiting times and rules. These can change so check the prison page.
Cancelling a visit
Phone the prison to cancel a visit.
If a visit is cancelled, the person visiting can ask for a message to be passed to the prisoner asking them to make contact.
Security and searches
Prisons may use a variety of security methods including:
- eye scan
- fingerprint scan
- scanning with a metal detector or handheld device.
All visitors must pass an ID check. They must supply more than one form of ID and one must have a photograph.
A current Australian drivers licence and a bank ATM card with a name and signature would pass the check.
Acceptable forms of identification - Department for Correctional Services
Property and clothing for the visit
Bringing property to a visit will slow down the visitor admission process so it's best to send items to prisoners by post.
Visitors are not allowed to enter prison wearing clothing that contains offensive slogans, gang-related symbols, or is overly revealing or in any way unsuitable for family settings.
Lockers are available to store small items such as keys during the visit.
Everyday items such as newspapers, handbags, cash and electronic devices including mobile phones are not allowed in prison.
Bringing children to prison
Children are generally allowed to be bought to prison for visits. However, if a court order is in place that bans contact with children, a visit will not be allowed. Identification such as a student ID card is required for children. Infants do not need ID.
Concerns following a visit
If you have any immediate concerns following a visit, speak to a correctional officer before you leave. Concerns about the health and wellbeing of a prisoner can also be passed on by phoning the prison at any time.
Professional visitors include legal practitioners psychologists, chaplains, the police, volunteers and support groups.
Each prison has clearly defined processes for undertaking professional visits.
Booking a professional visit
Access to a prison should be scheduled and approved prior to arrival unless otherwise approved by the prison general manager. Bookings can be arranged by phoning the prison.
Conditions of entry
Professional visitors need to present official photographic identification card such as:
- police ID
- Courts Administration Authority ID
- Prisoner Movement Contract ID
- Legal Services Commission ID
- an ID card issued by another government department.
A person who seeks to visit a prisoner for the purpose of rendering legal services must be a registered legal practitioner as defined in the Legal Practitioners Act 1981. They must provide evidence that they are a legal practitioner prior to being approved as a bona fide legal visitor.
Safety and duty of care
Visitors entering a prison are subject to directions and restrictions considered necessary to maintain the security of the facility.
If an emergency situation occurs during a visit, the visitor must follow all directions given by correctional officers and for their own safety must not hinder correctional officers responding to the emergency.