Coronavirus (COVID-19) information

Due to coronavirus (COVID-19), there may be changes to the prison visits.

Before you arrange a visit, please check the Our response to coronavirus (COVID-19) page for the latest information.

Telephone
03 5220 8222
Other
Note: the email address above is the Corrections Victoria general email as the prison does not have its own general email address.
Fax
03 5282 3406
Postal address
Locked Bag 7
Lara
VIC
3212
Street address
1140 Bacchus Marsh Road
Lara
VIC
3212
 

Getting there

Car

Barwon Prison is approximately 60km from Melbourne. Take the Princes Freeway to Geelong, turn left at the Avalon Airport exit, then turn right over the bridge and follow the signs to the prison. The Marngoneet Correctional Centre is located next to Barwon Prison.

Public transport

A courtesy bus is available to transfer visitors from Lara Railway Station to Barwon Prison (External link) and back again on Saturday and Sunday at the below times. Please note the courtesy bus does not run on public holidays.

  Bus departs at Lara Railway Station Bus departs Barwon Prison
Saturday and Sunday 10.00am, 11.00 am, 12.00pm, 2.00pm, 3.00pm 10.30am, 11.30am, 12.30pm, 2.30pm, 3.30pm

Geelong Taxi Network

Phone: 131 008 (Approximate cost: $23 to $28 for the Barwon Prison to Lara Railway Station trip)

 

In-person visits

  • A maximum of 2 people (including children) will be permitted 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 visitors list and will be required to present 100 points of identification.
  • All visitors over the age of 12 are required to wear a surgical mask supplied by the prison. If you are exempt from wearing a face mask, you need to discuss this with the prison and provide your medical exemption in writing prior to your visit. Failure to do so may result in your visit being refused. If you do not have a lawful medical exemption, you will be instructed to wear a face mask.

Any visitor who does not comply with directives associated with coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission reduction measures will not be permitted to enter the prison and will have their visit terminated. This includes visitors who refuse to wear a face mask (unless they have a lawful medical exemption).

See contacting and visiting prisoners for further information on COVIDSafe visiting measures.

 

Visiting times

To visit a prisoner, you must be on their approved list. Once you are on the list, you can book a visit according to the visit sessions times listed below.
It is recommended that you phone the prison before you visit to check that there are no issues on the day of your booked visit.

 

Unit Days Session times
Mainstream Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday 8.30am - 9.30am
9.30am - 10.30am
11.00am - 12.00pm
12.00pm - 1.00pm
1.30pm - 2.30pm
 
Acaia, Meleluca, Olearia Friday, Saturday and Sunday 9.15am – 10.15am
10.45am – 11.45am
12.30pm – 1.30pm
 
Hoya Saturday and Sunday 9.15am - 10.15am
10.15am – 11.15am
 
Hoya (Restricted Access) Saturday and Sunday 12.45pm – 1.45pm
1.45pm – 2.45pm
 
Grevillea Monday, Saturday and Sunday 9.15am – 10.15am
10.15am – 11.15am
11.15am – 12.15 pm
 
Banksia Monday and Friday 9.00am – 10.00am
10.30am – 11.30am
11.45am – 12.45pm
1.00pm – 2.00pm
2.15pm – 3.15pm
 

 

 

Visit conditions

For conditions of entry that apply to all prisons, such as general behaviour and the search process, refer to the general information for contacting and visiting prisoners. The following additional details are specific to Barwon Prison.

Visitor entry processes

If you have previously visited Barwon Prison, you will notice a few changes to the entry requirements, both from a coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission reduction and security perspective.

New processes at the gatehouse mean smaller groups within the processing area. This may take visitors slightly longer to complete the entry requirements.

Barwon Prison has introduced body scanning technology to further enhance safety and security. All persons will be required to remove shoes, jackets and bulky outerwear before passing through the Millimetre wave technology as a condition of entry.

Facilities for children

Children are welcomed and well catered for at Barwon Prison, however, unfortunately at this time, books, toys and play equipment will not be accessible for children during visits in order to reduce touch points and help prevent the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). 

Please note that prams are not permitted into or beyond the gatehouse foyer. Barwon Prison provides prams once visitors have passed through the entry procedures at the gatehouse. Your personal pram may be stored at the John Coshall Centre.  

An adult must accompany children under the age of 16. Parents are requested to pack all items back in the appropriate storage place at the conclusion of the visit. If you require assistance at any time, please approach the officer on duty for advice. 

Authorised items for visitors

The prison provides limited secure storage boxes at the gatehouse for visitors to store personal items. Please do not enter the gatehouse foyer with large amounts of personal items. Large handbags or backpacks are difficult for Barwon Prison to cater for. At the end of the visit, visitors can collect their stored property from the gatehouse following the sign-out procedure. 

Visitors with babies or young children may request to enter the prison with:
• 1 baby bottle (containing milk, formula, flavoured milk, cordial, juice or Ribena) only
• 1 dummy

Other baby care items such as nappies are provided and available in the visit centres.

Vending machines are currently unavailable to reduce touch points and help prevent the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). Food and drink (excluding water on request and baby formula/milk/drink for young children) will not be permitted during visits at this time.

As smoking is not permitted at any time inside the visit centres, visitors are not permitted to enter the prison with cigarettes.

 

Dress standards for visitors

Prisoners are encouraged to maintain contact with their family and friends and one way to do this, is via visits.
As a visitor to a prison, you are required to follow prison rules, including complying with visitor dress standards, which assist in keeping prisons safe.

There are a range of factors that staff must consider when processing visitors, including the visitor’s clothing or items accompanying the visitor, and the suitability of these items for a prison environment.

Such considerations include clothing items that can be used to conceal contraband, conceal a person’s identity, or breach security, or clothing that could lead to unrest or cause incidents amongst prisoners.

Visitors are encouraged to refer to this list as a guide and to contact the prison directly where they are unsure if their attire will be suitable for a prison visit.

The following clothing items are not permitted for the purpose of a prison visit.

  • Gang affiliated clothing, colours or patches
  • Clothing displaying racist/derogatory/sexist or profane messaging, imagery or symbolism
  • Clothing that is considered to be inappropriately revealing of private body parts or sexually provocative in nature. This may include clothing that is:
    • sheer or see through
    • low cut
    • very short e.g. high cut shorts that reveal upper thigh or buttocks, football shorts, miniskirts
    • exposing e.g. midriff or crop tops
  • Gloves
  • High visibility workwear due to similarity in attire with contracted workers
  • Open-toed shoes
  • Scarves (excluding for religious purposes)
  • Watches including any type of smart watch or Fitbit activity device 

Visitors should also be mindful that the following items may pose a concern:

  • Boots and thick sole shoes
  • Hair pieces such as headbands, scrunchies etc
  • Hooded tops or jumpers
  • Jewellery, particularly where it is excessive
  • Sleeveless or strapless clothing
  • Windcheaters, track-pants or t-shirts that are bottle green (men’s prisons) or royal blue (woman’s prisons) due to similarity with prison issued clothing

Please note that there may be other circumstances where an item of clothing is considered to present a security risk or safety concern.
Staff may ask visitors to present an item to be searched, including the removal of hair pieces or jewellery where there are concerns that contraband may be concealed.
You may be asked to place any items of concern into a visitor locker for the duration of your visit.
You may also be required to wear a prison issued T-shirt for visitors.

Failure to comply with prison rules, may result in sanctions, such as refusal of entry to the prison; a non-contact visit or even a visit ban.

 

Property and money

Property

Barwon Prison will only accept property from visitors registered on the valid visitors list.

Visitors are required to place approved property items in a plastic bag, labelled with their name and the prisoner's name, and the number of items, before placing this in the secure property box at the Gatehouse foyer. 

All prisoners’ property brought into the prison by visitors will be searched and delivered to the property store on weekdays only. Any property brought in over the weekend will be delivered to the property store as soon as is practicable. All property items must be clean – soiled or dirty items will not be accepted.

Where a prisoner has reached the permitted amount of property, additional items will not be accepted. Barwon is currently only accepting 5 items in total, including books/magazines or underwear (inclusive of socks, singlets and thermal underwear). 

The following items are accepted:

  • 4 thermal long johns and long sleeve thermals or long sleeve t-shirts (for prisoners in mainstream and protection these must be white, for prisoners in Acacia and Melaleuca they must be red)
  • 4 underwear items (these must not include any pictorial or media representations e.g. cartoons or commercial brands. Please note, underwear must be new.)
  • 4 pairs of socks  
  • 4 white singlets (singlets must not include any logos. For prisoners in Acacia and Melaleuca, singlets must be red.)
  • clothing for court or release (this must be approved by the unit supervisor)
  • 2 books (in Acacia and Melaleuca, hard-cover books are not permitted without approval from an Operations Manager)
  • 2 newspapers
  • 2 magazines (Barwon Prison will not accept magazines which contain any erotic pictorial or media representation of male or female genitalia or women’s breasts, military articles, drugs, hydroponics or home brewing, weapons, bombs, tattoo publications or publications which support terrorism) Prohibited magazines include but are not limited to:
    • any Category 1 or Category 2 restricted publications including Picture and People
    • computer magazines with graphics (e.g. gaming violence)
    • war or military magazines or publications
    • Cosmopolitan or Cleo
    • Live to Ride
    • Zoo
    • magazines or publications that contain violent material
    • magazines or publications with restricted content which is coloured in or covered with stickers
  • 6 photographs up to A4 size only (computer-generated photo sheets, regardless of how many photos are depicted on them, are accepted as one photo. Polaroids and laminates are not accepted)
  • 1 calendar (there must be no explicit content, metal spiral binding, metal backing or laminated photos included as part of, or attached to the calendar)
  • legal documents (must fit in a box measuring 35cm x 25cm x 15cm, unless prior approval has been given by an operations manager)
  • legal CDs or DVDs (these must be approved by an operations manager)
  • letters and cards (no musical letters or correspondence with attachments such as stickers and glitter)

All other property should be considered unauthorised unless prior approval has been given by an operations manager.

No shorts or runners of any kind are permitted.

Money

Refer to the Sending Money section of the contacting and visiting prisoners page for details about how much money can be deposited for a prisoner and in what format.

Visitors are permitted to drop off money orders or bank cheques in the mail box located in the Gatehouse foyer. No cash will be accepted. 

 

Prison profile

Security level

Maximum

Accommodation

Barwon Prison is divided into four accommodation areas. Separating prisoners into manageable areas allows for the effective supervision, security and safety of the prison, and also enables the appropriate provision of prisoner services to be provided according to various needs.

History

Barwon was the first new prison in Victoria to be designed specifically for unit management. Construction of the prison started in 1986. It was completed in October 1989 and the first prisoners were received in January 1990. Barwon Prison is the only maximum security prison located outside the metropolitan area. 

Read the Barwon Prison visitor information brochure