Each month, community volunteers visit our prisons to observe the way they operate. At the end of their visit, they report their observations to the Minister for Corrections. These volunteers, known as Independent Prison Visitors, help us maintain the high standards of our prison system.
The role of an Independent Prison Visitor
An Independent Prison Visitor (IPV) provides independent advice to the Minister for Corrections. The visitors provide a community perspective about the operation of our prison system.
Being an IPV
Each IPV is allocated to a specific prison. They visit the prison each month to observe prison routines and to talk to prisoners, staff and visitors. IPVs then provide an online report to the minister about their observations and the operations of the prison.
The appointment period for an IPV is five years.
As an IPV you will need to:
- function effectively in a challenging environment and comply with operational policies and procedures
- follow privacy and records management procedures
- communicate effectively with a diverse range of people and have a non-judgmental attitude
- network with fellow IPVs and attend annual events
- have good computer and internet skills to complete an online report and navigate online forums
- have a good level of health and fitness to negotiate the prison facility
- complete the induction training program and annual refresher training.
The process is:
- submit your application
- meet with the scheme
- complete checks
- take a facility visit
- appointed as an IPV.
The recruitment process can take several months to complete. You will be provided with any relevant information at each stage of the process.
Conditions of appointment
Please note all applicants must:
- disclose any criminal offence history
- disclose current and past (personal or professional) connection with prisons, the criminal justice system or justice-related groups or programs
- declare any perceived or actual conflict of interests
- undergo a range of screening including a National Offence History and Fingerprint check.
- agree to and abide by the Terms and Conditions of Appointment.
The Independent Prison Visitor Scheme has several vacancies, particularly at regional prison locations.
To express your interest in volunteering for the scheme:
- email firstname.lastname@example.org
- send a letter to GPO Box 123, Melbourne VIC 3001.
Include either your email or postal address and we'll send you more information about the role and the recruitment process.
Please note that IPVs are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 (three doses) to undertake the role and attend prison/s.
Before starting as an IPV with the department, you will need to provide evidence that you are vaccinated against COVID-19.
Acceptable evidence includes:
- COVID-19 digital certificate (available via your myGov account)
- your immunisation history statement (available via your myGov account) or
- a letter from the GP who vaccinated you.
Before conducting each monthly prison visit IPVs are also required to:
- provide proof of vaccination
- answer screening questions about possible contact with COVID-19
- return a negative rapid antigen test result prior to entry.
IPVs are required to wear a face mask at all times when at prisons.