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 4309 3333
Other
Note: the email address above is the Corrections Victoria general email; the prison does not have its own general email address. 
Fax
03 4309 3909
Postal address
PO Box 431
Ararat
VIC
3377
Street address
156A Warrak Road
Ararat
VIC
3377

The below information is specific to Hopkins Correctional Centre.

Hopkins Correctional Centre provides accommodation for sentenced and unsentenced prisoners with protection requirements in an open campus environment, combining community-style prison design with the Better Living Model (an innovative case management model for prisoner management).

Hopkins balances community protection with prisoner rehabilitation and the need to reduce reoffending via a range of reintegration programs, educational and employment opportunities. 

All prisoners capable of work are employed full-time and are allocated to an industry area such as wooden products, screen printing, metal fabrication, number plates printing, laundry, kitchen and general maintenance.

Please also refer to contacting and visiting prisoners for current information on how to have contact with a prisoner.

 

Getting there

Hopkins Correctional Centre (HCC) is located 200 kilometres west of Melbourne in the Grampians region.

Public transport

Take the Melbourne to Ararat train from Southern Cross Station. Sometimes this train service changes to a coach at Ballarat, then continues onto Ararat.

The Saturday 8.08am train and Sunday 8.28am train connect with a bus service to HCC.

Always confirm timetables with V/Line (External link) before you travel.

Car

From Melbourne

If driving from Melbourne, take the Western Highway A8 to Ararat.  until you cross the railway line as you are coming into Ararat.

As you come into Ararat, immediately after crossing the railway line there will be a large roundabout. Turn right onto High Street.

Once through the roundabout take the first right into Alfred Street (go over the railway line). Turn right into Grano Street and travel approximately four kilometres.

The prison is located on the right. Enter through Gate 2.

Note:  Google Maps directs you to use Warrayatkin Road. This is not the preferred route as it is a dirt road and often unsafe.

From Ararat Railway Station

If travelling from Ararat Railway Station, turn left onto the Western Highway.

After approximately 500m, turn left into Albert Street.

At the roundabout take the fourth exit onto Grano Street. Travel along Grano Street for approximately four kilometres.

The prison is located on the right. Enter through Gate 2.

Parking 

Visitor car parking can be accessed via Gate 2 and visitors are able to park in the carpark to the left.

 

Visiting times

To visit a prisoner, you must be on their approved list (refer to contacting and visiting prisoners for current information for prison visitors). Once you are on the list, you can visit during the times below.

It is recommended that you phone the prison before you visit.

Processing for visits commences at 9.00am. You must have checked into the prison gatehouse prior to 2.30pm.

Contact and non-contact visits

Visits are held in the HCC Visit Centre inside the prison during the following times:

  • Saturday: 9.00am - 3.15pm
  • Sunday: 9.00am - 3.15pm

Child visits are held within the same hours. Anyone unsure about visiting with children is advised to ring Hopkins for further information prior to attending the prison.

There are no visits on Melbourne Cup Day, Christmas Day or Good Friday. Visits on all other public holidays will be at the General Manager's discretion.

 

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.

 

Prison profile

Security level

Medium protection prison

Accommodation

Hopkins provides medium security accommodation for prisoners with protection requirements, including single, double and triple-bed accommodation, cottage accommodation, a unit for aged, and medically infirm prisoners, as well as eight beds for offenders on continued detention.

History

Hopkins Correctional Centre (previously known as Ararat Prison) was opened in 1967, replacing the century-old Ballarat Gaol. Built at an initial cost of $1.25 million. Hopkins Correctional Centre underwent a major expansion which was officially opened by the Minister for Corrections on 15 October 2015.