- Visiting prisons
- COVID-19 in the prison system
- Active cases
- How we are responding to COVID-19
On this page
The measures that Corrections Victoria is taking to protect the health and well-being of staff, prisoners and offenders are reviewed regularly.
Everyone plays an important role in reducing the risk of COVID-19, and decisions are 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 (External link).
Prisoners can participate in in-person visits. Information about COVIDSafe visiting is on the Contacting and visiting prisoners page.
Prisoners and their families and friends can also 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 (External link).
COVID-19 in the prison system
This data is updated weekly.
As of 24 March 2023, there are 2 total active cases in Victorian correctional facilities. There are 2 cases identified while in the general prison population. When cases occur in the general population, contact tracing and surveillance testing takes place as required. No cases have been identified in new arrivals. When identified, all active cases are managed in isolation arrangements.
There are 1 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.
As of 25 March 2023, 84 per cent of prisoners have received 2 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. 69 per cent of all prisoners have received 3 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.
The vaccination program is particularly focused on facilities that accept new arrivals, where 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 3 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine to be able to work onsite.
How we are responding to COVID-19
Admission procedures and prevention measures within prisons
As at 22 February 2023, prisoners must complete a RAT on arrival. Symptomatic prisoners will be referred to health services and may be held in quarantine pending a PCR test.
Infection prevention and control measures, including quarantine protocols for prisoners who test positive for COVID-19 or who refuse to take a RAT on arrival, remain in place across the prison system for all other prisoners.
Established processes for preventing and managing communicable diseases in custody are in place across Victoria’s prison system, including:
- all new prisoners undergo a RAT
- RAT ahead of entry for visitors
- proof of vaccination status for staff, service providers, and contractors
- screening prior to entering a facility. Anyone who presents with COVID-19 symptoms or risk factors is turned away
- staff working in high risk areas wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including face masks.
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.
Prisoner health and support
Health and other support services are operating across the prison system.
Prisoners are updated about COVID-19 as changes occur 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.
In-person visits, phone and video calls are available 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 (External link). Contact information for each prison is available on this page.
Community Correctional Services
CCS continues to operate and anyone subject to a community correction order, parole order or supervision order must continue to comply with the conditions of their order.
More information is available on the Changes to CCS page.
Information is also available for CCS stakeholders.