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
- 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.