Custodial Policies and Procedures

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

The Custodial Policies and Procedures provides the public with access to:

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.

Adult Custodial Rules and appendices

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The rules below form the majority of the overall system of prisons and prisoner management derived from the Prisons Act 1981.

Prior to March 2010 Adult Custodial Rules were known as Director General Rules.

Number Name Appendix
AC 1 Management of Prisoners in Confinement  
  • Regime for Prisoners who are placed in Separate Confinement (Revoked July 2021)
1
2
3
AC 3 Privileges   
AC 4 Association of Officers with Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners  
AC 5 Requests, Complaints and Grievances by Prisoners  
AC 6 Association of Male and Female Prisoners  
AC 7 Communication - Visits  
2
3
4
5
6
  • Application for video link visits (Revoked November 2019)
7
AC 8 Use of Computers by Prisoners (Revoked January 2014)  
AC 9 Provision of Condoms and Dental Dams to Prisoners (See COPP 6.1)  
AC 10 Issue of Medication by Officers (See COPP 6.4)  
AC 11 Permitted and Prohibited Material (updated January 2014)  
1
AC 12 Designation of Officers as Prison Officers (superseded by Prison Rule 401 on 19 January 2016)  
AC 18 Assessment and Sentence Management of Prisoners (See COPP 2.3)  

Operational instructions and appendices

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The operational instructions below form the majority of the overall system of prisons and prisoner management derived from the Prisons Act 1981

Number Name Appendix
OI 1 Hierarchal Prisoner Management Procedures (revoked 31 March 2009)  
  • Standard of Behaviour Expected of Prisoners (revoked 31 March 2009)
1
  • Privilege Matrix (revoked 31 March 2009)
2
  • Assessment Checklist (revoked 31 March 2009)
3
OI 2 Prison Charges  
1
OI 8 Prisoners Private Property – Superseded by PD 42 - Prisoner Property (December 2013)  
OI 9 Emergency Management (Counter Disaster Contingency Planning) (revoked 6 March 2012)  
OI 10 Prisoners with Disabilities  
OI 11

Prisoner Purchases and Canteen Management

 
OI 13 Educational and Vocational Training (revoked 7 May 2014)  
OI 15 Anti-bullying (revoked 3 May 2021) (see COPP 7.1)  
OI 16 Placement of Young Prisoners (Aged 20 Years or Under) - Superseded by PD 85 (April 2014)  
  • Young Prisoners Fax Cover Sheet
1
OI 17 Searches of Department Personnel and Service Providers - Superseded by PD 26 (December 2014)  
OI 18 Searches of people, other than those covered in OI 17, seeking to enter a prison - Superseded by PD 26 (December 2014)  

Prison Orders

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Prison Orders are policy instruments to effect changes to existing custodial operational instruments and support the suite of Adult Custodial Rules, Policy Directives and Prison Procedures. Prison Orders will be phased out as the implementation of the Custodial Operational Policies and Procedures are implemented from now until September 2021.

If you require one of the below Prison Orders, please email Operational Policy at OP@justice.wa.gov.au.

Number Title​
02/2016 Privileged mail
05/2017 Early discharge from prison
02/2017 Common Telephone Numbers
03/2018 Telephone calls to legal practitioners
04/2019 Work camps eligibility
01/2019 Additional privileged mail options
06/2020 ​E-Visits and Video link​​

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 op@justice.wa.gov.au.

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 Professional Standards Division conducts drug and alcohol testing of custodial staff.

The Declaration of Targeted Drugs and Masking Agents (DOCX) listed are those which may be tested for during staff drug and alcohol testing events.

Page reviewed 14 September 2021