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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 slowing 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 health advice for coronavirus (COVID-19) is available on the Department of Health and Human Services website (External link).

Current status

As of 26 November 2020

All policies and processes to protect prisoners and staff from coronavirus (COVID-19) are informed by infection control experts and consistent with advice from the relevant state and federal authorities, including the latest advice from the Chief Health Officer.

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Prisons

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 spend 14 days in protective quarantine, regardless of coronavirus (COVID-19) risk.
  • Staff and visitors are screened and temperature checked prior to entering a facility. Anyone who presents with any coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or risk factors is turned away.
  • Anyone entering a prison or facility including staff, service providers, visitors and contractors must wear a face mask at all times while on site.
  • Physical distancing measures, increased hygiene standards and use of personal protective equipment are in place.

In line with Corrections Victoria’s ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) management plan, and consistent with existing advice from the Department of Health and Human Services, measures continue to be taken to protect the health of staff and prisoners. This includes isolation measures, contact tracing and thorough cleaning.

Protective quarantine units within prisons

Corrections Victoria has established protective quarantine units across five prisons as a preventive measure against the risk of coronavirus (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 14 days in a protective quarantine unit. This does not affect current prisoners transferring between facilities.

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 TVs.

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.

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

Face masks

Anyone entering a prison or facility, including staff, service providers, visitors and contractors, are required to wear a face mask at all times while on site.

Face masks are mandatory for prisoners who have a suspected or confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19), including for those in protective quarantine. They are also available to all other prisoners who are being encouraged to wear them.

In-person personal visits

In-person personal visits are due to resume from Friday 11 December 2020, in line with health advice. 

A maximum of 2 people (including children) will be able to visit a prisoner at one time. This means that 2 adults, or 1 adult and 1 child, can attend a visit with a prisoner.

All visits must be booked in advance through the prison’s booking system. Adult visitors (16 years and older) must be listed on the prisoner’s visitor list and will be required to present 100 points of identification.

They will be conducted strictly in line with procedures to reduce the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission which include:

  • screening questions
  • temperature checks
  • masks 
  • hand hygiene
  • staying 1.5 metres apart.

Video visits will continue to be available.

More information on what prison visitors need to do and how to arrange contact is available on the Contacting and visiting prisoners page.

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

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 coronavirus (COVID-19) measures. 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.

Providing property to prisoners

From 11 December 2020 onwards, in line with the return of personal visits, visitors can drop off property at a prison if they have a visit booked on that day.  

Alternatively, property can be posted to the prison.

The prison will only accept property provided by a person who is listed on the prisoner’s valid visitors list.

Please see the contacting and visiting prisoners page for more information

Sending money to prisoners

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 and visiting prisoners page.

Prisoner health and support

Health and other support services are operating across the prison system.

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.

Access to phone and video calls have 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 03 8684 6600. Contact information for each prison is available on this page.

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Community Correctional Services

Community Correctional Services (CCS) has closed its face-to-face reception services and is providing a remote service delivery model to reduce the transmission of coronavirus (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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Previous updates

Update - 16 September 2020

(Update published Wednesday 16 September 2020)

On 16 September, a prisoner in protective quarantine at the Metropolitan Remand Centre returned a positive test result for coronavirus (COVID-19).

The prisoner has been placed into isolation and will continue to be monitored, assessed and provided with a range of supports.

Update - 14 September 2020

(Update published Monday 14 September 2020)

On 11 September, a prisoner in protective quarantine at Ravenhall Correctional Centre returned a positive test result for coronavirus (COVID-19).

The prisoner will continue to be monitored, assessed and provided with a range of supports.

Update - 4 September 2020

(Update published Friday 4 September 2020)

On 4 September, two prisoners in protective quarantine at the Metropolitan Remand Centre returned positive test results for coronavirus (COVID-19).

The prisoners have been placed into isolation and will continue to be monitored, assessed and provided with a range of supports.

Update - 24 August 2020

(Update published Monday 24 August 2020)

One prisoner in protective quarantine at the Metropolitan Remand Centre returned a positive test result for coronavirus (COVID-19).

The prisoner has been placed into isolation and will continue to be monitored, assessed and provided with a range of supports.

Update - 19 August 2020

(Update published Wednesday 19 August 2020)

There has been one new case of a prisoner with coronavirus (COVID-19) at the Melbourne Assessment Prison.

The prisoner acquired the virus in the community and was tested and returned a positive test result while still in police custody prior to being received at the Melbourne Assessment Prison yesterday.

The prisoner was immediately placed into isolation as part of standard admission procedures for confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19), and has had no contact with any other prisoners.

The prisoner will continue to be monitored, assessed and provided with a range of supports.

Update - 18 August 2020

(Update published Tuesday 18 August 2020)

There has been one new case of a prisoner with coronavirus (COVID-19) at the Melbourne Assessment Prison.

The prisoner acquired the virus in the community and was tested and returned a positive test result while still in police custody prior to being received at the Melbourne Assessment Prison yesterday.

The prisoner was immediately placed into isolation as part of standard admission procedures for confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19), and has had no contact with any other prisoners.

The prisoner will continue to be monitored, assessed and provided with a range of supports.

Update - 17 August 2020

(Update published Monday 17 August 2020)

A prisoner recently transported from Port Phillip Prison to the Malmsbury Youth Justice Centre yesterday returned an initial positive test result for coronavirus (COVID-19), but has subsequently returned a negative result.

Deep cleaning was undertaken at both locations and Port Phillip Prison is in lockdown as a precautionary measure while contact tracing and testing is completed.

Corrections Victoria and Youth Justice have implemented a range of measures in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19), including screening questions, temperature testing for visitors, staff, prisoners and young people quarantine measures, and testing as required in accordance with health advice.

Update - 14 August 2020

(Update published Friday 14 August 2020)

There has been one new case of a prisoner with coronavirus (COVID-19) at the Melbourne Assessment Prison.

The prisoner acquired the virus in the community and was tested and returned a positive test result while still in police custody prior to being received at the Melbourne Assessment Prison yesterday afternoon.

The prisoner was immediately placed into isolation as part of standard admission procedures for confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19), and has had no contact with any other prisoners.

The prisoner will continue to be monitored, assessed and provided with a range of supports.

Update - 13 August 2020

(Update published Thursday 13 August 2020)

There has been one new case of a prisoner with coronavirus (COVID-19) at the Melbourne Assessment Prison.

The prisoner acquired the virus in the community and was tested and returned a positive test result while still in police custody prior to being received at the Melbourne Assessment Prison yesterday afternoon.

The prisoner was immediately placed into isolation as part of standard admission procedures for confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19), and has had no contact with any other prisoners.

The prisoner will continue to be monitored, assessed and provided with a range of supports.

Update - 6 August 2020

(Update published Thursday 6 August 2020)

One prisoner in protective quarantine at Metropolitan Remand Centre has returned a positive test result for coronavirus (COVID-19).

In unrelated occurrences, two prisoners in protective quarantine, one at the Ravenhall Correctional Centre and one at the Melbourne Assessment Prison, have also returned positive test results to coronavirus (COVID-19).

All prisoners have been placed into isolation and will continue to be monitored, assessed and provided with a range of supports.

Contact tracing and deep cleaning is also underway.

Update - 2 August 2020

(Update published Sunday 2 August 2020)

A prisoner in protective quarantine at Metropolitan Remand Centre has returned a positive result to coronavirus (COVID-19) this morning.

He has now been placed into isolation. He will continue to be monitored and assessed while in isolation, and is being provided with a range of supports.

In an unrelated occurrence, a prison officer from Metropolitan Remand Centre who has not worked since 28 July has returned a positive result to coronavirus COVID-19. Health officials have advised that he does not pose a risk to other staff and the prison system.

Contact tracing is underway for both these occurrences.

In line with Corrections Victoria’s ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) management plan, and consistent with existing advice from the Department of Health and Human Services, measures continue to be taken to protect the health of staff and prisoners. This includes isolation measures, contact tracing and thorough cleaning.

Established processes for preventing and managing communicable diseases in custody continue to be in place across Victoria’s prison system, including:

  • All new prisoners are tested and required to spend 14 days in protective quarantine, regardless of coronavirus (COVID-19) risk. 
  • Personal visits remain suspended, while staff and professional visitors are screened and temperature checked prior to entering a facility. Anyone who presents with any coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or risk factors are turned away.
  • Anyone entering a prison or facility, including staff, service providers, professional visitors and contactors, continue to be required to wear a face mask at all times while on site.
  • Physical distancing measures, increased hygiene standards and use of personal protective equipment.

Update - 30 July 2020

(Update published Thursday 30 July 2020)

Two prisoners recently detained to the Melbourne Assessment Prison (MAP) have returned positive test results for coronavirus (COVID-19).

Both prisoners are currently in isolation.

Separately, a staff member at MAP also returned a positive test result yesterday.

The staff member had not been at work since 25 July and the cases do not appear to be linked.

We are working with the Department of Health and Human Services and measures are being taken in line with Corrections Victoria’s coronavirus (COVID-19) management plans, including contact tracing and thorough cleaning.

All new prisoners are tested and quarantined, regardless of their coronavirus (COVID-19) risk and MAP is not in lock down.

Update - 28 July 2020

(Update published Tuesday 28 July 2020)

Two asymptomatic prisoners already in protective quarantine at the Melbourne Assessment Prison have returned positive results for coronavirus (COVID-19).

Both prisoners were tested as part of standard admission procedures and are now being placed into isolation. 

The Melbourne Assessment Prison is temporarily in lockdown while the prisoners isolation transfers take place.

We are working with the Department of Health and Human Services and measures are being taken in line with Corrections Victoria’s coronavirus (COVID-19) management plans – including contact tracing and thorough cleaning. 

All new prisoners are tested and required to spend 14 days in protective quarantine, regardless of coronavirus (COVID-19) risk.

Update - 26 July 2020

(Update published Sunday 26 July 2020)

A prisoner in Protective Quarantine at the Metropolitan Remand Centre has returned a positive result to coronavirus (COVID-19). 

He has now been placed into isolation.

He will continue to be monitored and assessed while in isolation, and is being provided with a range of supports.

In line with Corrections Victoria’s ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) management plan, and consistent with existing advice from the Department of Health and Human Services, measures continue to be taken to protect the health of staff and prisoners. This includes isolation measures, contact tracing and thorough cleaning.

Established processes for preventing and managing communicable diseases in custody continue to be in place across Victoria’s prison system, including:

  • All new prisoners are tested and required to spend 14 days in protective quarantine, regardless of coronavirus (COVID-19) risk. 
  • Personal visits remain suspended, while staff and professional visitors are screened and temperature checked prior to entering a facility. Anyone who presents with any coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or risk factors are turned away.
  • Anyone entering a prison or facility, including staff, service providers, professional visitors and contactors, continue to be required to wear a face mask at all times while on site.
  • Physical distancing measures, increased hygiene standards and use of personal protective equipment. 

Update - 25 July 2020

(Update published Saturday 25 July 2020)

Ravenhall Correctional Centre has resumed normal operations after precautionary lockdown measures were taken in relation to a staff member testing positive to coronavirus (COVID-19) on 21 July 2020.

All prisoners and staff who have had contact with the staff member have now returned negative tests.

Staff who had close contact with the impacted staff member will remain isolated at home for the remainder of the 14 days as a precautionary measure.

All Victorian prisons have now resumed normal operations.

There are established processes in place for preventing and managing communicable diseases in custody.

All new prisoners are tested and required to spend 14 days in protective quarantine, regardless of coronavirus (COVID-19) risk.

Personal visits remain suspended, while staff and professional visitors are screened and temperature checked prior to entering a facility. Anyone who presents with any coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or risk factors are turned away.

Anyone entering a prison or facility, including staff, service providers, professional visitors and contactors, are also required to wear a face mask at all times while on site.

Physical distancing measures and increased hygiene standards and use of personal protective equipment have also been introduced. 

Update - 24 July 2020

(Update published 6.30pm Friday 24 July 2020)

Loddon (including Middleton annex) and Tarrengower prisons have resumed normal operations after precautionary lockdown measures were taken this morning.

Separately, Ravenhall Correctional Centre (RCC) will remain in lockdown until all staff members tested receive their results.

(Update published 3.00pm Friday 24 July 2020)

Precautionary lockdown measures have been taken at Loddon (including Middleton annex) and Tarrengower prisons this morning.

The measures will allow Corrections Victoria to assess whether the prisons have had any exposure to the community transmission case at Don KR Castlemaine and respond appropriately if any link is found.

Separately, Fulham Correctional Centre has resumed normal operations this morning after prisoners tested negative in relation to the positive coronavirus (COVID-19) test of a Ravenhall Correctional Centre staff member (21 July 2020).

Ravenhall prisoners who had contact with the staff member have also returned negative results. As a precaution, the facility will remain in lockdown until all staff members tested receive their results.

There are established processes in place for preventing and managing communicable diseases in custody.

All new prisoners are tested and required to spend 14 days in protective quarantine, regardless of coronavirus (COVID-19) risk.

Personal visits remain suspended, while staff and professional visitors are screened and temperature checked prior to entering a facility. Anyone who presents with any coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or risk factors are turned away.

Anyone entering a prison or facility, including staff, service providers, professional visitors and contactors, are also required to wear a face mask at all times while on site.

Physical distancing measures and increased hygiene standards and use of personal protective equipment have also been introduced.

Update - 23 July 2020

(Update published Thursday 23 July 2020)

Precautionary lockdown measures at four prisons have been lifted after prisoners tested negative in relation to the positive staff coronavirus (COVID-19) test at Ravenhall Correctional Centre (21 July 2020).

Hopkins Correctional Centre, Barwon Prison, Loddon Prison and Langi Kal Kal Prison have returned to normal operations early this afternoon.

Ravenhall and Fulham Correctional Centres remain in lockdown as a precaution while awaiting test results.

The health and safety of staff and prisoners is our priority, and there are established processes in place for preventing and managing communicable diseases in custody.

All new prisoners are tested and required to spend 14 days in protective quarantine, regardless of coronavirus (COVID-19) risk.

Personal visits remain suspended, while staff and professional visitors are screened and temperature checked prior to entering a facility. Anyone who presents with any coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or risk factors are turned away.

Physical distancing measures and increased hygiene standards and use of Personal Protective Equipment have also been introduced.

Face masks

Corrections Victoria is supplying all prisons and facilities with face masks, which are mandatory for staff and professional visitors at all Victorian locations.

Anyone entering a prison or facility, including staff, service providers, professional visitors and contractors, will be required to wear a face mask at all times while on site.

The additional measure was introduced across nine metropolitan facilities earlier this week and has been expanded across all sites.

Face masks continue to be mandatory for prisoners who have a suspected or confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19), including for those in protective quarantine. They are also available to all other prisoners who are being encouraged to wear them.

Update – 22 July 2020

(Update published Wednesday 22 July 2020)

As a precautionary measure, Ravenhall, Hopkins Correctional Centre, Langi Kal Kal, Barwon Prison, Fulham and Loddon remain in lockdown after a GEO prison officer at Ravenhall Correctional Centre tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). Health and custodial staff continue to monitor the health of the prison population, and staff and prisoners are being supported.

An asymptomatic prisoner, who was in Protective Quarantine at the Metropolitan Remand Centre, has returned a positive result to coronavirus (COVID-19). The prisoner was swabbed on 20 July 2020 as part of standard measures for all new receptions. There is no connection between this case and the previous positive case at Metropolitan Remand Centre (on 17 July 2020) or the prison officer at Ravenhall Correctional Centre.

Working with the Department of Health and Human Services, measures are being taken in line with Corrections Victoria’s coronavirus (COVID-19) management plans. This includes contact tracing and thorough cleaning.

There are established processes in place for preventing and managing communicable diseases in custody. 

All new prisoners are tested and required to spend 14-days in protective quarantine, regardless of coronavirus (COVID-19) risk. 

This also includes screening and temperature checks for all staff and professional visitors prior to entering a facility, physically distancing wherever possible, increased hygiene standards and the use of Personal Protective Equipment. Those who present with any coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or risk factors are turned away.

Update - 21 July 2020

(Update published Tuesday 21 July 2020)

Corrections Victoria has been advised that a GEO prison officer at Ravenhall Correctional Centre has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).  

While the officer’s contact with other staff and prisoners is being determined, Ravenhall and a further five prisons have been placed into lockdown, including Hopkins Correctional Centre, Langi Kal Kal, Barwon Prison, Fulham and Loddon.   

The Department of Health and Human Services have been notified and contact tracing is currently underway, with impacted staff and prisoners being notified.

In line with Corrections Victoria’s coronavirus (COVID-19) management plans, a number of measures have already taken place, including placement of potential prisoner contact in quarantine units, contact tracing and thorough cleaning.

Update - 17 July 2020

(Update published Friday 17 July 2020)

On 17 July 2020, a prisoner, who was in Protective Quarantine at the Metropolitan Remand Centre, returned a positive result to coronavirus (COVID-19) and has since been placed into isolation.

The prisoner was swabbed as part of measures for new receptions, who are tested upon arrival and required to undergo a 14-day protective quarantine process.

He will continue to be monitored and assessed while in isolation, and is being provided with a range of supports.

Working with the Department of Health and Human Services, measures are being taken in line with Corrections Victoria’s coronavirus (COVID-19) management plans. This includes isolation measures, contact tracing and thorough cleaning.

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Statement on personal visits to prisons

(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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