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Prohibited items

A prohibited item ('contraband') is anything introduced or found in a prison that is not permitted. It is a criminal offence to bring any form of contraband onto prison property.

Prohibited items vary depending on whether the prison is maximum, medium or minimum security. The following items are prohibited in all prisons:

  • weapons
  • drugs and drug-related items or paraphernalia
  • explosive substances or devices
  • flammable or corrosive liquids
  • tobacco and tobacco smoking accessories such as pipes, lighters and matches (from 1 July 2015)
  • alcohol
  • tattooing equipment
  • aerosol pressure spray cans
  • equipment that may aid an escape
  • film, computer games, and some publications
  • cameras or other photographic devices
  • mobile telephones
  • portable digital media players
  • USB storage devices
  • any other substance or article which may threaten the safety or security of the prison

This is not an exhaustive list. It is best to phone the prison before your visit to ask whether you can bring in property for the prisoner.

Any visitor found introducing contraband into a prison will be banned from all visits at all prisons for a minimum period of 12 months and the matter will be referred to the police.