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Contacting a prisoner
You may not telephone a prisoner directly but you may ask to be added to a prisoner’s approved telephone list so the prisoner can call you. Prisoners can have a maximum of ten people on their approved list at any one time. Telephone calls are limited to 12 minutes per call and may be monitored and recorded for security purposes.
If you are unsure whether you are on a prisoner’s phone list, check with the prisoner during a visit or by mail. Prisons cannot release information about who is on a prisoner’s phone or visitors list (a prisoner’s phone list is not the same as their visitors list).
Prisoners must pay for all phone calls, with the exception of calls to the Victorian Ombudsman and the Health Services Commissioner.
The process for requesting a professional phone call with a prisoner varies from prison to prison.
Video conferencing is available for legal professionals to contact their clients in prison.
Family and friends can send mail to prisoners. For security reasons, restrictions apply to the types and content of cards and letters that can be sent. These restrictions vary from prison to prison but may include musical cards and attachments and enclosures such as stickers and photographs. If you are unsure, contact the prison for advice.
If you don’t know where a prisoner is located, you can write to them care of Corrections Victoria and your letter will be forwarded.
All mail (other than exempt official mail, for example from a lawyer or the Victorian Ombudsman) will be checked for contraband (prohibited items). The prison may censor the letter if the content jeopardises the security and good order of the prison or is of a threatening or harassing nature.
If a prisoner is transferred to another prison or is in hospital for an extended period, their mail will be forwarded to them.
Email, social media and internet
As prisoners do not have access to email or the internet, you cannot communicate with them via email, the internet, online chat or social networking websites such as Facebook or Twitter.
Sending money, personal property and clothing
The type and amount of personal property, clothing and money you are allowed to send to a prisoner can vary from prison to prison. Visit the prison page for detailed information about individual prisons or contact the prison for further information.