Adult Custodial Standards and Rules

This page details the rules, instructions and directives that govern prison management including prisoner and prison officer conduct.

The Adult Custodial Rules provides the public with access to Adult Custodial:

Standards are an integral component of the Department’s new Operating Standards and Procedures Framework. Standards are being introduced to promote service delivery improvement within an Individual Offender Management approach. The introduction of Standards demonstrates the Department's progress towards the achievement of being a world class corrective services organisation.

The Rules, Directives, Appendices and Instructions together form the majority of the overall system of prisons and prisoner management that is derived from the Prisons Act 1981 and other legislation.

The rules are made by the head of the Department, the Commissioner, with approval from the Minister and largely cover prisoner and prison officer conduct.

The rules deal with matters such as classification/placement of prisoners and visits, some details of which are required to be enshrined in rules.

On the other hand, the policy directives, which are issued by the head of the Department and do not require Ministerial approval, cover procedural and administrative matters and welfare issues. Areas covered by the policy directives include search procedures, attendance at funerals, access to information and dietary and nutritional requirements. Operational Instructions are similarly limited to procedural matters.

Each of the above are required to be reviewed on an annual basis and this review is coordinated by the Operational Services division.

Prison Standards

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Standards are being introduced to promote service delivery improvement within an Individual Offender Management approach.  Prison Standards:

  • are aspirational and identify how the Department intends to operate
  • will help to set performance benchmarks
  • will help to establish safe, decent and humane environments that encourage rehabilitation and prisoners and offenders to take personal responsibility.

Prison Standards align with the principles that underpin Individualised and Integrated Offender Management (IIOM):

  • Responsible offender
  • Decency and humanity
  • Natural justice and procedural fairness
  • Accountability and transparency

Corrective Services is currently reviewing all custodial operational instruments (e.g. Rules, Standards, Policy Directives, Operational Instructions) to establish a clear and simplified policy and procedures framework that allows for officers involved in the corrections system to know what is required of them. This review is scheduled to be completed by December 2021. For further information on this review, please contact

Women in Prison - Prisons Standard

The first Standard in Western Australia is for Women in Prison and reflects our aspiration to deliver a world-class approach to the management of women prisoners.

The Women in Prison – Prisons Standard recognises that women in prison have different needs to men. It addresses women’s special vulnerabilities and the fact that women in custody have often experienced significant personal trauma.  It acknowledges that the high proportion of Aboriginal women in the justice system requires a culturally sensitive response.

Alcohol and drug testing

The Department maintains a workplace that is safe and promotes the highest standards of integrity and accountability amongst our custodial staff. To achieve this, the Corrective Services Division conducts drug and alcohol testing of custodial staff.

The Declared Drugs and Masking Agents (DOC) listed are those which may be tested for during staff drug and alcohol testing events.

Page reviewed 4 February 2021