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Prison Researcher
03-29-2012, 01:19 PM
People worry about travelling to see their loved one and being turned away, especially on that first visit.
Please help ease visiting worries by sharing any experience you have of the visiting arrangements.

Share updated information, tips and advice on the do's and don'ts;
what to wear, what not to wear, what items you can/can't take to visiting, etc.
so that others can be prepared and hopefully, enjoy that special time with their friend/loved one.

We wish you happy visiting!

(If you are interested in finding someone to share the travel costs/journey with, please see the carpool thread.)

Prison Researcher
03-29-2012, 01:21 PM
Visiting Prisons

Family and friends can maintain contact with prisoners throughout their prison sentence through personal visits. Prisoners can also arrange confidential meetings with a range of professional visitors including lawyers, police and authorised Corrections Victoria staff.

This section has a range of information for people visiting a Victorian prison including directions for getting to prisons by road (and, in some cases, public transport), visiting times, what you can bring, how often you can visit, identification requirements for gaining access to a prison and what is expected of you during a visit.

Arranging to visit a prisoner if you are not on their visitors list.

You will need to write to the prisoner (care of Corrections Victoria) and ask him or her to have you placed on their approved Visitors List.

In your letter, you should include your full name, date of birth and address. It is then up to the prisoner to make the arrangements for you to be able to visit them.

Write to:

(prisoner's full name)
C/- Corrections Victoria
GPO Box 123
Melbourne VIC 3001

Your letter will be forwarded to the prisoner.

If you have been previously banned from visiting a Victorian prison, or convicted of an offence you will have to get permission to enter a prison. You will need to write a letter to the General Manager of the prison that you wish to visit, providing your CRN or details of the offence and the name of the prisoner you wish to visit, and requesting permission to visit.

Visiting Times

All Victorian prisons have regular, scheduled times during which family and friends can visit prisoners. Each prison publishes a 'Schedule of Prison Visiting Times' for contact and non-contact visits.

Although the prison visiting time schedules are generally very stable, there are sometimes variations to the schedules so visitors will need to contact the individual prison to obtain information on the most current schedule and the arrangements the prison has made for the individual prisoner.

Different arrangements are in place for professional visitors such as lawyers, police and Corrections Victoria staff. These visitors should contact the prison to confirm arrangements.

What to Expect

Throughout their prison sentence, prisoners can keep in contact with family and friends through personal visits.

The minimum requirement for personal visits is:

one contact visit of at least one hour per week for prisoners who are eligible for contact visits
one non-contact visit of at least one hour per week for prisoners who are ineligible for contact visits.

Each prison publishes a 'Schedule of Prison Visiting Times' for contact and non-contact visits.

Entry requirements

All visitors must provide appropriate identification when entering a prison, or visiting a prisoner who is in hospital. These details are recorded in a visitors' register. Visitors must provide 100 points of identification to gain prison access. Anyone without satisfactory identification will not be permitted to enter the prison, unless arrangements are made prior to the visit with the prison's General Manager.

Satisfactory identification must be one of the following:

100 points
Current Drivers Licence, Correctional Services Pass, Consulate ID Card, Law Card, Valid Passport, Key Pass, Working with Children Check Card, Police member ID.

50 points
Sixty Plus Card, Birth Certificate, Australian Citizenship Certificate, Marriage Certificate, Defence Department ID, Government Authorised U16.

25 points
Medicare Card, Centrelink card, student card, credit card or bank book.

Visitors can only use one type of item in each category as part of their 100 point total, for example one credit card, not two.

All identification presented must be current.

Conditions of entry

All prison visitors are subject to the orders of the prison's General Manager who may enforce conditions or constraints which they believe are necessary for the management, good order and security of the prison.

It is an offence to disobey a lawful order by the prison's General Manager or a Prison Officer, and may result in the visitor being banned from entering a prison.

Person or property searches

The prison's General Manager may require prison visitors to have their person, property or vehicle searched. A visitor who refuses to be searched may be allowed to have a non-contact or supervised visit with the prisoner, unless the prison's General Manager has reasonable grounds to believe that the visitor is attempting to introduce banned substances into the prison.

Getting to Prisons - Marngoneet Correctional Centre

Address: 1170 Bacchus Marsh Road LARA VIC 3214
Tel: (+61 3) 5282 0600
Fax: (+61 3) 5282 0900
Postal Address: PO Box 273 CORIO VIC 3214

Melways reference
South Western Key Map, page 11, B12

Getting there - car
Marngoneet Correctional Centre is approximately 60kms 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 Barwon Prison.

Marngoneet is located next door to Barwon Prison.

Getting there - public transport
A courtesy bus transfers visitors from North Geelong Railway Station to Marngoneet Correctional Centre and back again on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays. Please telephone the prison for timetable information.

Contacts

Corrections Victoria
22/121 Exhibition St
GPO Box 123
Melbourne VIC 3001
Tel: 03 8684 6600
Fax: 03 8684 6611
Email: corrections@justice.vic.gov.au


*SEE POST BELOW FOR INFORMATION ON VIDEO VISITING

Prison Researcher
03-29-2012, 01:22 PM
What is a Video Visit?
The Video Visits program provides an opportunity for prisoners to see their children via a direct video conferencing link between the prison and an external site. The external site will mainly be the local Community Corrections site if appropriate, or a community agency site organised by VACRO. This site may be in Victoria or interstate (depending on locality of the child/children).

Video conferencing is another way for a child to stay in touch with a parent who is in prison. The child can see and talk to their parent on a television screen in a private room.

Why have a Video Visit?
Video Visits Program offers children the opportunity to maintain contact with their parent in prison if regular visits to a correctional centre are not possible.

Difficulties can include:

Distance or cost of travelling;
Carers are elderly or are limited in their physical ability to travel;
Child/ren is significantly distressed by prison visits;
Child/ren has no available carer to transport them.

Eligibility

All visitors (including the adult supervising the child) must be on the Approved Prison Visit list.
Any DHS/Child Protection orders will stand in accordance with regular prison visits
Prisoner must be currently eligible for visits with children.

How are visits organised?

Each prison will have its own processes; however the following steps will generally apply.
1. Family Application
Families need to contact VACRO to organise a video visit with the prisoner. VACRO will then contact the prison to ascertain whether the prisoner wishes to participate in the program and is eligible to participate.

2. Prisoner Applies for a Video Visit
The prisoner makes an application at their prison location. A referral with contact details for the family member will be passed on to VACRO who will advise the family of the request and check for family consent.

Video Visit Booking
VACRO will liaise with the prison, the family and the community video visit site to establish a mutually agreed time for the visit to occur. It is important to be aware that video visit facilities are not available in some locations in Victoria but we will attempt to find the closest possible location.

Guidelines
Generally the visit will last 30 minutes depending on the availability.
Visits can be terminated in accordance with the general conditions that govern normal prison visiting procedures (families will need to sign a form agreeing to this).
Generally, a prison officer will be present with the prisoner.
An adult must be in the room with children participating in the video visit. If the nominated attending adult is not security cleared by the prison, they will not be permitted to participate and the visit will not go ahead.
A VACRO Family Services worker may be available to offer support and debriefing with the family following the Video Visit over the phone.

NB: The Video Visits program does not intend to replace regular contact or professional visits but should be seen as another option for staying in touch while a family member is in prison.

Aboriginal Video Visits Program

The VACRO Aboriginal Family Travel & Accommodation Program funded by the Indigenous & Diversity Unit of the Department of Justice; also supports the use of Video Visits for families of Indigenous Prisoners through this program.

Contact Details
VACRO Video Visits on 9605 1922 OR
VACRO Reception on 96051900
You can also visit our website on:
http://www.vacro.org.au/Family_Services/