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 schedule to get the best efficiency and outcomes out of the devices available.
There are a range of options and contact points for legal practitioners and service providers during this time. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we quickly scale up phone lines, devices and staff to support scheduling and coordination.
Prisoners are entitled to confidential meetings with professionals through non-contact “box” visits, phone or video calls.
Under exceptional circumstances where an in-person visit is needed (for example, neurological assessments) this will be considered on a case-by case basis by the prison General Manager.
Professional services providers comprise:
- Victorian Government Department employees
- medical professionals
- Ombudsman Victoria
- Health Services Commissioner
- Privacy Commissioner
- consular officials
- Independent Prison Visitors
- authorised Corrections Victoria staff.
Legal practitioners – booking a legal conference or conference for court ordered conferences
Video conference facilities in prisons are limited and Courts are prioritised.
However, legal practitioners still have access to their clients by phone and video (noting that video will be limited).
Legal professionals can use a stand-alone video conferencing machine or a mobile device (including iPhone, iPad, tablet, smart device or desktop PC with audio and camera capabilities).
When using a mobile device, legal professionals will need to use the Cisco Jabber application, which will automatically download upon activation of the first Jabber Guest URL.
To arrange a legal conference, email the Video Conferencing Coordination Unit (VCCU) at: firstname.lastname@example.org .
The email request must include the following information:
- email subject: VC, Jabber Guest or telephone, date of conference, prisoner’s name and CRN or date of birth
- prisoner's name
- CRN or date of birth (if CRN unknown)
- requested date
- requested time - provide a few alternatives to assist if the first preference is not available
- length of time required for the conference
- name of legal professional conducting the conference.
If your conference can be facilitated, the VCCU will schedule the conference and email a confirmation with dial-in details or the Jabber Guest URL, date and time.
If your request relates to a conference that is required prior to a court matter on that day, contact the VCCU on 1300 160 214.
What happens if a videoconference cannot be facilitated?
When requesting a legal conference, legal practitioners should consider that there will be limited access to video conferencing.
If your request is unable to be facilitated, the VCCU will refer the request to the appropriate prison to be scheduled as a telephone contact, or arrange to contact you using another video platform, for example Zoom on a tablet device in the prison.
The VCCU will make this referral on your behalf to the prison.
Other service providers (non legal) – contact points to book remote service delivery
Contact the location email addresses below.
Do not contact the VCCU for these requests during the COVID-19 emergency. Court matters, such as court ordered assessments, should still be booked through the VCCU.