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The measures that Corrections Victoria is taking to protect the health and well-being of offenders, prisoners and staff are reviewed daily.

Everyone plays an important role in stopping the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), and decisions are being made with the latest medical advice and state and federal measures in mind.

The latest on coronavirus (COVID-19) is available on the Department of Health and Human Services website (External link).

No change to restrictions

(Update published 25 May 2020)

On Monday 11 May 2020, the Victorian Government announced the gradual easing restrictions in the community.

Corrections Victoria has reviewed the Victorian Chief Health Officer’s Directions, and due to the ongoing risk coronavirus (COVID-19) poses, there is no immediate change to the measures introduced on 21 March 2020 suspending personal visits to all Victorian public and private prisons.

We don’t take these actions lightly. For the safety of all prisoners, staff and the community, it is important that we prevent coronavirus (COVID-19) from entering the prison system.

Staying apart helps us protect the health system and saves lives.

We know how important social connection is and we want to maintain prisoner contact with family and friends. Prisoners have:

  • increased access to phone calls
  • new access to video visits
  • new access to prisoner email.

If you would like to have contact with a prisoner, information is available on the Contacting a prisoner page .

The closure of face-to-face reception services for Community Correctional Services remains in place. Offenders should contact their case manager if they have any questions.

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Community Correctional Services closes face-to-face reception services

(Update published 15 April 2020)

Community Correctional Services (CCS) has closed its face-to-face reception services and is moving to a remote service delivery model to reduce the transmission of COVID-19.

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. Where possible, supervision and program appointments are being undertaken via telephone, Skype or other technology.

More information is available on the Changes to CCS page.

Information is also available for CCS stakeholders.

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Professional phone and video calls

(Update published 9 April 2020)

There is significant demand for phone and video calls to prisoners during the coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency.

As the need for phone and video calls increases, Corrections Victoria is constantly reviewing how we can get the best efficiency and outcomes out of the devices available.

More information is available on the Professional phone and video call page.

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Protective quarantine units established as a precaution

(Update published 27 March 2020)

Corrections Victoria has established protective quarantine units across five prisons as a further preventive measure against the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19).

From Saturday, 28 March 2020 until further notice, all prisoners coming into the Victorian prison system will be required to spend 14 days in a protective quarantine unit.

The protective quarantine units have been established at all prisons that receive new prisoners into custody – Melbourne Assessment Prison, Metropolitan Remand Centre, Port Phillip Prison, Ravenhall Correctional Centre and Dame Phyllis Frost Centre.

Prisoners in these units will be supported with access to in-cell phone calls, video-based visits, books, education material, printed exercise routines and TVs.

Prison and health staff, including Aboriginal Liaison Officers and specialist mental health services, will regularly check in and monitor the health and wellbeing of all prisoners, including vulnerable and high-risk people.

The new measure does not apply to existing prisoners who are currently accommodated or who are transferred to the five prisons.

Existing prevention and management measures, including quarantine protocols, remain in place across the prison system for all other prisoners.

There are currently no confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) within the Victorian prison system, and Corrections Victoria is continually reassessing its preventative and management measures across the prison system.

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Statement on personal visits to prisons

(Update published 20 March 2020)

Personal visits to adult correctional facilities to be suspended Australia-wide.

Corrective services across Australia have been constantly reviewing measures to prevent and manage the coronavirus (COVID-19) risk in prisons.

Following the National Cabinet Meeting on Friday, 20 March 2020, a joint decision has been made to suspend all personal visits to adult correctional facilities across Australia over the coming weeks.

Individual jurisdictions will decide when the new measure will be introduced based on their operational needs, with all Victorian public and private prisons to suspend visits from Saturday, 21 March 2020.

This decision has not been made lightly and responds to the rapidly evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and state and federal health measures.

We understand the importance of family and community connections to both the rehabilitation and reintegration of prisoners, and to families and friends.

Which is why we are increasing phone access for prisoners where possible and appropriate, and are also encouraging them to write letters.

Alternative communication measures will be implemented, including trialling video calls to ensure that prisoners their families and friends maintain face-to-face contact.

The health, safety and security of the entire community, including our staff, prisoners and visitors, remains our top priority. 

Visits will recommence as soon as it is safe to do so, and we will continue to follow the advice of the Chief Health Officer, and federal and state authorities.

We will continue to keep prisoners and visitors updated.

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Suspension of in-person visits

(Update published 20 March 2020)

To protect the health and safety of all prisoners, staff and the community from Saturday 21 March 2020, Corrections Victoria suspended all in-person personal visits to adult prisons.

This affects all public and private adult prisons, including the Judy Lazarus Transitional Centre.

While in-person visits are suspended, prisoners will have increased access to phone calls and video visits. Prisoners and visitors are also encouraged to write letters or send emails.

In-person visits will resume as soon as it’s safe to do so, and we will keep prisoners and visitors updated. 

The importance of visits and community connections for the rehabilitation and reintegration of prisoners, and for friends and family members is well understood.

If you have any urgent concerns – please contact the prison or call 03 8684 6600.

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Sending money to prisoners

(Update published 20 March 2020)

Money for prisoners can no longer be dropped off at prisons. To send money to prisoners, you can:

More information on this is including cost is available on the Contacting a prisoner page.

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Sending property to prisoners

(Update published 21 April 2020)

At this point in time, property cannot be dropped off at prisons. Prisons will ensure that prisoners have sufficient clothing. 

There are special circumstances in which some property can be posted to a prisoner. Please see the contacting a prisoner page for more information

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Prisoner health and support

(Update published 20 March 2020)

While there have been changes around personal visits, health and other support services will continue to operate across the prison system. Arrangements are being made to ensure that these services can continue.

Prisoners are regularly updated about Coronavirus (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 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.

We are also increasing access to phone calls and encouraging prisoners to continue writing to their family and friends, given the importance of these connections. 

If you are concerned about a prisoner’s mental health, please telephone the prison and ask to speak to a manager about your concerns or call 03 8684 6600. Contact information for each prison is available on this page.

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