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Old 03-19-2004, 06:00 PM
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Default Australian Prisoner Visitation Information

This is information regarding visititation. Even though it states New South Wales, it is the same in every prison across Australia. Any questions with visits, its best to call up and check with the prison you are visiting, but this will give you some kind of guidelines.

In some Queensland prisons, during a contact visit, you are not allowed to used the bathrooms, your contact visit can be changed to no contact, if you need to use the bathrooms I can tell you this from first hand experience at Maryborough Correctional Facility.

Also, you are required now to have a police check before you are granted a contact visit. Until this is approved and done, you are required to have non contact visits. Approval times for contact visits can take up to 4 weeks, unless you have been approved before visiting another prison.



Information For Visitors To Prisons
Welcome

The department welcomes family and friends who wish to visit inmates in New South Wales Correctional Centres.

You can help us make your visit more pleasant by getting to know the simple rules that apply. The rules are in place to ensure that the security of the centre is not compromised and that everyone can enjoy their visit.

This site includes some useful information and handy hints for all visitors but you should also be aware that some things, such as visiting times, will vary from centre to centre.

If you are visiting a maximum or medium security centre you must telephone the centre to book a visit. You should telephone again to check with the centre on the day of your visit. It is not necessary to book a visit to a minimum security centre, however you must still telephone before you wish to visit the centre.

If you are unsure of the whereabouts of the person you wish to visit you should contact the inmate placement officer on 9289 5135 between 10.am - 6.pm or after hours on 9289 5142.

Please take this opportunity to become familiar with general visits information and then access the site of the specific centre you intend to visit to check visiting times and the services on offer at that centre.

We hope each of your visits is a pleasant, positive experience for you and your family member or friend.
Why visit?

The purpose of family and friends visiting an inmate is to maintain family ties so that it is easier for inmates to adjust to life back in the community when they are released.

In the context of a correctional centre environment, it is also important that each inmate maintains positive relationships with family and friends to ease their adjustment to centre life.

Most inmates want to receive visits and look forward to visiting times as an important way to catch up on news and to give and receive reassurances from family members and friends.
Who can visit?

Visits from family members, friends, community groups and church representatives are welcomed and encouraged.

An inmate can have up to four adults visiting at one time. An adult visitor must accompany children under 18.

Some female correctional centres have special child visit days and you should ring the centre to find out these times and days.

If you're on parole or community based work release, you need to be a member of the inmate's immediate family to be allowed to visit. Your suitability as a visitor will be assessed and entry could be refused.
How to prepare for a visit

Visiting hours at New South Wales correctional centres vary - so contact the centre to find out when they are. The centre will also be able to tell you how long your visit will be and how often you can visit.

At most centres, you will need to call and make an appointment for your visit. If there is an emergency such as the serious illness or death of a family member, special visiting arrangements may be made by contacting the centre. In special circumstances the Governor may approve a visit by an unaccompanied 16 or 17 year old young person.

Make sure you arrive in good time for your visit. Plan to arrive at least 30 minutes ahead of your scheduled visit. Go straight to the main gate. If it is your first visit, gate staff will give you directions to the visits reception area.

Do not attempt to visit a centre if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol because you will be refused entry.

On each visit you will be required to provide identification.

The Department will accept one of the following forms of identification:

* Current photographic driver's license issued by any State or Territory of Australia;
* Proof of Age card available from the RTA;
* Current passport or one within two years of expiry date; or
* Any current photo identity issued by a Australian Government Department or Authority.

OR:

The Department will accept any three of the following forms of identification:

* An original or extract of birth certificate;
* An electoral roll enrolment card or other evidence of enrolment;
* A public utility record issued within six months of the date of intended visit e.g. a telephone, gas or electricity bill, or a water rates, council rates or land valuation notice;
* A current vehicle or boat registration notice;
* A marriage certificate;
* Australian naturalisation or citizenship document or immigration papers issued by the Commonwealth government;
* A current entitlement card issued by an Australian Government Department or Authority; or
* A credit or debit card with the holder's signature.

What to bring - or leave behind - when visiting

This depends on which centre you are visiting, but as a general rule bring as little as possible to a visit. In the maximum security centres, you will not be able to take anything in. This includes wallets, purses, money, watches, jewelry, cigarettes, food or drinks, sunglasses or prams.

At the lower security centres, you may be allowed to take some of those items in with you, so It's best to ring and check with the centre first.

It's a good idea to leave any valuable items such as jewelry or large amounts of cash at home. At most centres, there will be visitors' lockers for personal items. You may leave a pram or stroller in an area of the visitor processing centre.

You may take some money for an inmate however this cannot be given directly to the person you are visiting. The way you can put money into an inmate's account will vary between centres, so you will need to telephone before your visit for more information.

The Department will not take responsibility for any item lost or stolen during your visit.

People who want to get an illegal item or substance into a prison sometimes try to avoid taking it in themselves - if you are pressured by anyone to take anything into a center illegally, contact the police or the Department.

Unless you know your relative or friend has permission to receive photographs from you during a visit, do not bring them into the centre.

Legal documents may be taken into the centre for a signature, by prior agreement with the officer in charge.
What to expect

Visiting times are very busy times at any centre. Some centres have up to 1400 visitors every week - so it's best to ask any questions you might have before your visit.

For most inmates the visiting period is a very happy time but it's often a very emotional time for you and the person you're visiting, so knowing what to expect and preparing properly for a visit can make for an easier, happier time.

On the day of your visit, the person you are visiting will arrive at the visiting area. The area will have tables and chairs. If you have children with you they're welcome to sit on your lap or, if you are making a contact visit, on the inmate's lap. As you will appreciate, there may be some restrictions or conditions put on visits from children if the inmate has been charged or convicted of an offence against children and in some cases children are not allowed to sit on the inmate's lap.

The children you bring are your responsibility and, to be courteous to other inmates and their visitors, it is requested that you ensure children are not disruptive in the visiting area or you may be asked to leave.

You can kiss the person you are visiting when you arrive and leave and you may hold hands during a contact visit but any inappropriate behaviour will attract the attention of the supervising officer and you may be asked to leave.

You may not join any other group visiting at the same time even if you know them. If you wish to visit more than one inmate at the centre you need to book a separate visit time. Upon request, and with the approval of the Governor, in special circumstances you may be able to visit with two related inmates at the same time.

How often, and for how long, you're allowed to visit will vary from centre to centre so check before you visit. The Visits Officer will let you know when your time is up and you need to leave.

As a courtesy to visitors arriving after you, make sure you clean your table and allocated area and put away any toys or books your children may have been using.

Some visitors try to bring dangerous or prohibited materials into prisons. Be aware that anyone, including children and babies, may be searched. There are four kinds of searches - visual; electronic scanning or detecting, dog drug detection and strip search. The strip search won't involve you being touched at all but you will be required to remove all your clothing and there will be a thorough check for any drugs or banned items. Strip searches are carried out as quickly as possible in private by two officers of the same sex as you and with due regard for your dignity. A female officer, in the presence of their parent or guardian, carries out, strip searches of young children or babies.

You may be searched on the way into or out of a centre. All searches are authorised under the Crimes (Administration of Sentences) Act 1999 and associated regulations.

You should also be aware that drug detector dogs operate in centres. Video cameras also operate in most centres and you may be filmed.

If you're caught trying to bring a banned substance or item into a centre, you may be charged and banned from visiting any correctional centre in New South Wales.
What's expected of you

To ensure the security of the prison is not compromised and to make the visit time pleasant for everyone - including other prisoners and their visitors - there are a few rules to keep in mind.

To help your visit run smoothly:

* Don't move the tables or chairs.
* Stay with the inmate you arranged to visit.
* On contact visits you may kiss - but only on arrival and departure and in an appropriate manner.
* Don't move around the room unnecessarily.
* Remember you are not allowed to pass any items which have not been approved to inmates

If your behaviour is disruptive, you may be asked to leave and if necessary, removed from the centre. If you break the law, you will be reported to police.
Non-contact visits

Sometimes you will not be permitted physical contact with the inmate and your visit will take place in a cubicle with a transparent screen between you.

These are called non-contact visits and occur when there are security concerns, or when an inmate has forgone the privilege of a contact visit by behaving badly within the centre. These visits are monitored and an appropriate standard of behaviour is still expected.
Giving inmates money, papers or property

A visit is not the time or place to hand over money or papers to an inmate - but it may be a convenient time to bring them to the centre. Not all centres are able to receive money at visiting times so check with the centre before you visit. If you've brought money for an inmate, show it to the officers on duty at the front gate and then leave it with the cashier, or, on weekends, with the Visits Officer. (You'll need the correct money on weekends - the Visits Officer won't have any change.)

You may leave up to $100. The money will be deposited into the inmate's account and you will be given a written receipt. Please do not leave cheques or money orders.

If you have legal papers or documents for an inmate, contact the centre before you visit. If the matter is urgent, the centre can make special arrangements for legal papers to be given to the inmate or for you to receive them back.

Check with the centre to find out if property can be brought in for a particular inmate. Any property will need to be left at the visits reception area and not given directly to the inmate.

If you wish to leave educational books or any magazines for an inmate you must contact the centre before your visit as only certain reading material is approved.
Help and support for visitors:

The Department recognises there are occasions when members of an inmate's immediate family may experience financial hardship which prevent them being able to travel long distances to visit. Subject to the availability of funds, and applicants meeting strict criteria, financial assistance may be available to facilitate visits to inmates who are serving a sentence of more than six months.

Further information may be obtained by contacting the Welfare Officer at the correctional centre where the inmate is located.

Many community organisations provide assistance to inmates and their families through a range of services e.g. a bus service to centres outside the metropolitan area and support groups for children of inmates.

Other organisations provide assistance such as legal advice and representation.

Contact details for organisations providing these services often change and visitors requiring assistance should obtain current contact details from the Welfare Officer at the centre where the inmate is located.

Most visits go very smoothly and are a welcome break in centre routine.

However, if you are concerned about the inmate you have visited, for example If you believe he or she is depressed or suicidal in any way, make sure you raise the issue with the Officer in Charge of Visits.

If you have a complaint about any matter relating to your visit, you can speak to the Officer in Charge of Visits and possibly resolve it at the time. Or you can put your complaint in writing to the Governor of the centre, and it will be dealt with promptly.

Should you experience any difficulties which you consider have not been appropriately dealt with by the Department you may wish to contact the NSW Ombudsman by telephoning 9286 1000 or 1800 451 524.
A visitor's checklist:

Have you called ahead to check visiting times and whether a booking is necessary?

If you're a first-time visitor, have you got proper identification? Remember, on all subsequent visits you will still need to prove your identity upon request.

Have you allowed an extra 30 minutes to complete any paper work or entry procedures before your visit?

Have you left any unnecessary valuables or other items banned from the prison at home?

If you're travelling by public transport, have you checked the timetables to ensure you will arrive in time?

Remember to use toilet facilities before your visit so you're not using up valuable visiting time.
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a day to love them and a lifetime to forget them."

Last edited by Kyla; 03-20-2004 at 08:46 PM..
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Old 03-20-2004, 08:44 PM
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Default New Zealand Visitors Information

Prison Visitors - a guide for inmates and their personal visitors

The purpose of family and friends visiting an inmate is to maintain family ties so that it is easier for inmates to adjust to life back in the community when they are released.

To help manage visiting times effectively, the New Zealand Public Prisons Service has a visitor booking system so that inmates, visitors and staff know who will be visiting an inmate and when.

This system is designed to make it simple and easy for:

* family and friends of inmates to visit them,·
* prison staff to better plan and manage who is visiting an inmate and when, and
* prison staff to stop the introduction of drugs and other illegal items being brought into prisons by visitors.

This visiting system is supported by the Penal Institutions Regulations.

Visitors must be approved by the prison manager before they can visit an inmate(s).

Once a visitor has been approved, if they then want to visit an inmate(s) they must book a time within the prison visiting hours.

Other arrangements to visit can be made in special circumstances.

If you arrive at a prison without an approval letter, form of identification or a time booked you may not be able to visit your relative or friend in prison.
How to get approval to visit

Visitor application forms are given to inmates at the prison.
Inmates post the forms to the people they want to visit them. The application form asks for information such as:

* Name
* Date of birth
* Relationship to the inmate
* Any criminal history

Visitors then post the form back to the prison. Prison staff will assess the visitor application form and may ask the visitor to attend an interview to clarify some information.

Visitors will be advised if they are approved or not. It is expected that most will be. If an application is declined a Prohibition Order will be issued which will explain the reasons why.
How to book a visit

Once a visitor has approval to visit an inmate, the inmate needs to ask prison staff for a visit request form.

Prison staff will then check the visit request, make a visit time and give the inmate a confirmation slip.

The inmate then needs to send this slip to the person they are arranging to have visit them. The slip will confirm the visit date and time.

Visitors need to bring this slip with them to show prison staff when they arrive at the prison.
What happens when visitors arrive at the prison

Visitors arriving at the prison will be asked to produce their letter of approval and a form of identification which could be one of the following examples:

* Drivers licence
* Passport
* Bankcard with recent photo
* Student identification card
* Community services card

On arrival staff may ask to:

* Search a visitor’s car
* Search a visitor’s possessions
* Search a visitor - This may be a scanner search, including being asked to walk through a metal detector (like the ones at the airport) or a rub down search (if staff have reasonable grounds to believe the visitor has an unauthorised item).

If a visitor does not agree to any of these searches they will not be able to visit.

A drug detection dog may be used to assist in these searches. At any time during a visit staff may also (if they have reasonable grounds to believe that a visitor has an unauthorised item) do a scanner search or rub-down search and use reasonable force to carry it out.

Prison staff will decide if the visit is to be in a visiting room or security booth. An inmate’s conduct at the time of the visit may affect the type of visit.

An inmate may have a maximum of three adults (16 years and over) and three children visiting at any one time.

Inmates can have at least one visit each week for a minimum of half an hour, within prison visiting times.

Visitors are not to pass any items to inmates that have not been approved, including items of food.
Some reasons a visit may be refused on the day
Information

* A visitor refuses to give staff information they can lawfully request or a visitor refuses to produce the letter of approval and/or an acceptable form of identification.
* A visitor gives staff false information.
* A visitor refuses to give permission for staff to access information contained in official records.


Behaviour

* A visitor behaves in a manner that is harmful, threatening, intimidating, indecent or disruptive to the security and order of the prison.
* A visitor fails to comply with the Penal Institutions Act or Regulations, or a lawful order given by an officer.
* A visitor refuses to let themselves or their vehicle or possessions be searched.
* A visitor refuses to pass through a metal detector.


Unauthorised Items

* A visitor has with them an unauthorised item. This may include:


any drug, alcohol, or other intoxicating substance, and


any offensive weapon.
* A visitor must tell staff about any drugs, alcohol, or offensive weapons they have with them or in their car when entering a prison.

Other

* A Prohibition Order applies to the visitor.
* The inmate does not want to see the visitor.

Prohibition Order

A Prohibition Order prohibits a visitor from visiting an inmate(s) or a prison for a set period of time, but no more than 12 months, if they are likely to put at risk:

* the security, discipline and good order of the prison,
* the welfare, successful rehabilitation and safety of an inmate(s), and
* the welfare and safety of any person in the prison who is not an inmate.

Right of Review

If a visitor has been declined and a Prohibition Order issued, they may apply to the Chief Executive of the Department of Corrections for a review of that decision.

The request must be in writing, stating the applicant’s reasons for applying for the review and the name(s) of the inmates they wish to visit.

The Chief Executive will review the application within 21 days of receiving it and has the discretion to confirm, reverse or modify the original decision.

0800 JAIL SAFE
0800 JAIL SAFE (0800 524 572) is a confidential (no caller ID used) and anonymous free-phone number. It is for inmates, visitors and anyone else to use to help gather information about what’s happening with inmates and the prison.

Often people connected with prison life have information they want to pass on for the safety, protection or benefit of an inmate or any other person. 0800 JAIL SAFE is a safe way to do that. Callers can leave a recorded message or speak to a designated official at Public Prisons National Office.

Any information received through the 0800 number will be thoroughly checked and evaluated before any action is taken as a result of a call.
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a day to love them and a lifetime to forget them."
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Old 03-21-2004, 04:40 AM
sandee292000 sandee292000 is offline
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Default Hi kyla

Hi there Kyla. I hate the piece of propaganda at the beginning of that. The corrections dept makes no effort to help an inmate maintain family ties. In fact they go out of their way to make it difficult for us to maintain relationships. They ship inmates out to another prison, often at the other end of the country from their family. Usually for no reason and with no warning. My partner was transferred one week before Xmas because I dared to speak out about the goings on at his prison. They transferred him out of sheer spite. I maintained contact with him by NEVER missing a visit and talking to him on the phone everyday. Now I get to visit him in another city, once a week for an hour only. Like many Corrections Depts around the world, the New Zealand one is bullshit. Sadly it prides itself on modelling the US. God I could write a book! The moral of the story : dont believe a word they say. Kind regards Sandy

The purpose of family and friends visiting an inmate is to maintain family ties so that it is easier for inmates to adjust to life back in the community when they are released.

To help manage visiting times effectively, the New Zealand Public Prisons Service has a visitor booking system so that inmates, visitors and staff know who will be visiting an inmate and when.

This system is designed to make it simple and easy for:

* family and friends of inmates to visit them,·
* prison staff to better plan and manage who is visiting an inmate and when, and
* prison staff to stop the introduction of drugs and other illegal items being brought into prisons by visitors.

This visiting system is supported by the Penal Institutions Regulations.

Visitors must be approved by the prison manager before they can visit an inmate(s).

Once a visitor has been approved, if they then want to visit an inmate(s) they must book a time within the prison visiting hours.

Other arrangements to visit can be made in special circumstances.

If you arrive at a prison without an approval letter, form of identification or a time booked you may not be able to visit your relative or friend in prison.
How to get approval to visit

Visitor application forms are given to inmates at the prison.
Inmates post the forms to the people they want to visit them. The application form asks for information such as:

* Name
* Date of birth
* Relationship to the inmate
* Any criminal history

Visitors then post the form back to the prison. Prison staff will assess the visitor application form and may ask the visitor to attend an interview to clarify some information.

Visitors will be advised if they are approved or not. It is expected that most will be. If an application is declined a Prohibition Order will be issued which will explain the reasons why.
How to book a visit

Once a visitor has approval to visit an inmate, the inmate needs to ask prison staff for a visit request form.

Prison staff will then check the visit request, make a visit time and give the inmate a confirmation slip.

The inmate then needs to send this slip to the person they are arranging to have visit them. The slip will confirm the visit date and time.

Visitors need to bring this slip with them to show prison staff when they arrive at the prison.
What happens when visitors arrive at the prison

Visitors arriving at the prison will be asked to produce their letter of approval and a form of identification which could be one of the following examples:

* Drivers licence
* Passport
* Bankcard with recent photo
* Student identification card
* Community services card

On arrival staff may ask to:

* Search a visitor’s car
* Search a visitor’s possessions
* Search a visitor - This may be a scanner search, including being asked to walk through a metal detector (like the ones at the airport) or a rub down search (if staff have reasonable grounds to believe the visitor has an unauthorised item).

If a visitor does not agree to any of these searches they will not be able to visit.

A drug detection dog may be used to assist in these searches. At any time during a visit staff may also (if they have reasonable grounds to believe that a visitor has an unauthorised item) do a scanner search or rub-down search and use reasonable force to carry it out.

Prison staff will decide if the visit is to be in a visiting room or security booth. An inmate’s conduct at the time of the visit may affect the type of visit.

An inmate may have a maximum of three adults (16 years and over) and three children visiting at any one time.

Inmates can have at least one visit each week for a minimum of half an hour, within prison visiting times.

Visitors are not to pass any items to inmates that have not been approved, including items of food.
Some reasons a visit may be refused on the day
Information

* A visitor refuses to give staff information they can lawfully request or a visitor refuses to produce the letter of approval and/or an acceptable form of identification.
* A visitor gives staff false information.
* A visitor refuses to give permission for staff to access information contained in official records.


Behaviour

* A visitor behaves in a manner that is harmful, threatening, intimidating, indecent or disruptive to the security and order of the prison.
* A visitor fails to comply with the Penal Institutions Act or Regulations, or a lawful order given by an officer.
* A visitor refuses to let themselves or their vehicle or possessions be searched.
* A visitor refuses to pass through a metal detector.


Unauthorised Items

* A visitor has with them an unauthorised item. This may include:


any drug, alcohol, or other intoxicating substance, and


any offensive weapon.
* A visitor must tell staff about any drugs, alcohol, or offensive weapons they have with them or in their car when entering a prison.

Other

* A Prohibition Order applies to the visitor.
* The inmate does not want to see the visitor.

Prohibition Order

A Prohibition Order prohibits a visitor from visiting an inmate(s) or a prison for a set period of time, but no more than 12 months, if they are likely to put at risk:

* the security, discipline and good order of the prison,
* the welfare, successful rehabilitation and safety of an inmate(s), and
* the welfare and safety of any person in the prison who is not an inmate.

Right of Review

If a visitor has been declined and a Prohibition Order issued, they may apply to the Chief Executive of the Department of Corrections for a review of that decision.

The request must be in writing, stating the applicant’s reasons for applying for the review and the name(s) of the inmates they wish to visit.

The Chief Executive will review the application within 21 days of receiving it and has the discretion to confirm, reverse or modify the original decision.

0800 JAIL SAFE
0800 JAIL SAFE (0800 524 572) is a confidential (no caller ID used) and anonymous free-phone number. It is for inmates, visitors and anyone else to use to help gather information about what’s happening with inmates and the prison.

Often people connected with prison life have information they want to pass on for the safety, protection or benefit of an inmate or any other person. 0800 JAIL SAFE is a safe way to do that. Callers can leave a recorded message or speak to a designated official at Public Prisons National Office.

Any information received through the 0800 number will be thoroughly checked and evaluated before any action is taken as a result of a call.[/quote]
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Old 03-21-2004, 05:10 AM
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Kyla Kyla is offline
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Sandy
Thanks for posting this, I got this info off the NZ DOC site, and its better coming from someone that has been through it all. I totally respect your opinion, that they always want it to sound better than it actually is.
If there is any other info on NZ that isnt correct, please be sure to let us know, as our information is limited.
I appreciate your feedback, and thanks once again.
Take care.
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a day to love them and a lifetime to forget them."
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Old 03-21-2004, 05:44 AM
sandee292000 sandee292000 is offline
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Default New Zealand

Kyla, its not so much about misinformation but more about them not following through with what they say they do. They change their rules to suit themselves, stick to the letter of the law where they're concerned but if we try to point out their policies to them they bend them to suit themselves. I just get a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach when I think about it. When I was responsible for creating an independent review and investigation of his prison they simply investigated themselves. And guess what? They found nothing amiss and were completely cleared. Now I have the Ombudsman, Minister of Corrections etc involved but progress is very very slow and by the time they respond he will probably be out. Cheers Sandy
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Old 03-23-2004, 05:11 AM
Grevillia Grevillia is offline
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Thank you Kyla for this information. I have been hard pressed to find these things out.

Grevillia
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Old 03-23-2004, 02:44 PM
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Grevillia
Do you have a loved one in prison??
This is information that is hard to find, you dont normally find this kind of stuff out until the time you book your visits. Any information that you may find valueable ask away.
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Old 03-24-2004, 04:26 AM
Grevillia Grevillia is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyla
Grevillia
Do you have a loved one in prison??
This is information that is hard to find, you dont normally find this kind of stuff out until the time you book your visits. Any information that you may find valueable ask away.
Thank you Kyla for the info. No I don't have anyone to visit just yet but it may happen soon.

I said in a previous thread about how I visited an inmate in Ipswich but that was a few years ago and no doubt things have changed since then.
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Old 03-24-2004, 04:33 AM
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Grevlllia
I had never visited a prison in my life until last year, so I have no idea. One thing I can say, is that the prison staff treat you with respect, and I believe they treat the inmates with respect, if they treat the guards that way.
I believe our prison systems have changed for rehabilitation etc, I dont understand why your friend on a minor charge was put into a supermax prison. Maryborough was high security, where I visited, but it was no where need as bad as I imagined it to be, though it was difficult having someone I loved so much in there. I believe that they do encourage visits, and family contact. There was this young girl that was there, that ended up with love bites all over her neck, and was kissing and cuddling way to much. She was put on non contact visits, but one thing that did come out of it, was what I wrote about as the "groping session" where at the beginning of the visits, you were allowed to hug and kiss for 5 minutes, and then at the end of the visits for another 5 minutes. I dont believe all prisons are like this, this prison is new and high tech, and they are trying new ways to help inmates and families.
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