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The measures that Corrections Victoria is taking to protect the health and well-being of staff, prisoners and offenders are reviewed daily.
Everyone plays an important role in reducing the risk of COVID-19, and decisions are being made with the latest medical advice and state and federal measures in mind.
The latest health advice for COVID-19 is available on coronavirus.vic.gov.au .
Visits to Victorian prisons have resumed. Information about COVIDSafe visiting instructions and vaccination requirements is on the Contacting and visiting prisoners page.
Prisoners and their families and friends can still use postal mail, video calls (including virtual visits via Zoom bookings), phone and emails to stay in contact. If you have any urgent concerns, please contact the prison directly or call 1300 191 835 .
COVID-19 in the prison system
This data will be updated weekly.
As of 28 November 2022, there are 110 total active cases in Victorian correctional facilities. There are 108 cases identified while in the general prison population. When cases occur in the general population, contact tracing and surveillance testing takes place as required. Two cases have been identified while in quarantine for new arrivals. When identified, all active cases are managed in isolation arrangements.
There are 10 active COVID-19 cases in prisoners or residents who identify as Aboriginal.
As per the Department of Health requirements, all positive rapid antigen tests (RATs) are treated as positive cases and included in the data.
Prisoner movement within prisons may be temporarily restricted in accordance with our established protocols while contact tracing is underway.
As of 26 November 2022, 84 per cent of prisoners have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. 69 per cent of all prisoners have received three doses, which is 84 per cent of all prisoners currently eligible for their third dose.
All prisoners in Victorian prisons are being strongly encouraged and supported to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccines are available at every prison and will continue to be provided for as long as they are needed. Prisoners can also receive their third vaccine dose upon meeting eligibility requirements.
The vaccination program is particularly focused on facilities that accept new arrivals, where predominantly unvaccinated people are entering the prison system from the community every day, as well as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the elderly, and those with health issues and other vulnerabilities.
All custodial staff must have received three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine to be able to work onsite.
All new arrivals are managed under quarantine arrangements
Corrections Victoria has established protective quarantine units across five prisons as a preventive measure against the risk of COVID-19:
- Melbourne Assessment Prison
- Metropolitan Remand Centre
- Port Phillip Prison
- Ravenhall Correctional Centre
- Dame Phyllis Frost Centre.
All prisoners coming into the Victorian prison system are required to spend some time in protective quarantine. As at 10 October 2022, prisoners must stay in protective quarantine until they return 2 negative RATs, taken 24 hours apart.
Existing prevention and management measures, including quarantine protocols, remain in place across the prison system for all other prisoners.
Prisoner movement within prisons may be temporarily restricted in accordance with our established protocols.
How we are responding to COVID-19
Admission procedures and prevention measures within prisons
Established processes for preventing and managing communicable diseases in custody are in place across Victoria’s prison system, including:
- all new prisoners are tested and required to be in quarantine until they return 2 negative RATs taken 24 hours apart
- RAT ahead of entry for staff, service providers, visitors and contractors
- proof of vaccination status for staff, service providers, visitors and contractors
- screening prior to entering a facility. Anyone who presents with COVID-19 symptoms or risk factors is turned away
- wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) like face masks as directed by the facility. This applies to staff, service providers, visitors and contractors.
In line with Corrections Victoria’s ongoing COVID-19 management plan, and consistent with existing advice from the Department of Health, measures continue to be taken to protect the health of staff and prisoners. This includes isolation measures and increased hygiene standards.
Prisoners in the protective quarantine units are supported with access to in-cell phone calls, video-based visits, books, education material, printed exercise routines and televisions.
Prison and health staff, including Aboriginal Liaison Officers and specialist mental health services, regularly check-in and monitor the health and wellbeing of all prisoners, including vulnerable and high-risk people.
All prisoners continue to be monitored, assessed and provided with health care and a range of supports.
Personal protective equipment
All staff and visitors are required to wear a face mask (and possibly other protective equipment) as directed while on site. These will be provided to you.
Face masks are mandatory for prisoners who have a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19, including for those in protective quarantine. They are also available to all other prisoners, who are being encouraged to wear them.
Professional phone and video calls
Professionals and service providers are able to hold phone and video calls with prisoners.
There is significant demand for phone and video calls to prisoners during the COVID-19 measures. Corrections Victoria is continually reviewing the most appropriate use of the available devices.
More information is available on the Professional phone and video call page.
Providing property to prisoners
When in-person visits are available friends and family can drop off property, mail and parcels for prisoners to prisons.
Property can be posted to prisons.
Prisons will only accept property provided by a person who is listed on the prisoner’s valid visitors list.
Sending money to prisoners
Money can be dropped off at prisons. It can also be sent to prisoners:
- purchase a money order at Australia Post
- send a bank cheque
- make an online transfer via Secure Payment Services website .
More information on this, including cost, is available on the Contacting and visiting prisoners page.
Prisoner health and support
Health and other support services are operating across the prison system.
Prisoners are regularly updated about COVID-19 and informed of the changes that impact on them.
All prisoners receive a medical screening by a general practitioner upon entering prison custody, which includes an assessment for any risk of self-harm or suicide.
As with the broader community, this situation may cause stress for some prisoners. Prisoners continue to have access to a range of mental health supports. They are also encouraged to exercise and eat a healthy diet.
Prisoners can also access medical and psychiatric care throughout their imprisonment.
Access to phone and video calls has been increased and prisoners are encouraged to write to their family and friends. Corrections Victoria understands the importance of these connections.
If you are worried about a prisoner’s mental health, please telephone the prison and ask to speak to a manager about your concerns or call 1300 191 835 . Contact information for each prison is available on this page.