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Book a visit to

Risdon Prison Complex
(03) 616 57400

Ron Barwick Minimum Security Prison
(03) 616 57400

Mary Hutchinson Women's Prison
(03) 616 57400

Hobart Reception Prison
(03) 616 57622

Launceston Reception Prison
(03) 677 72963

Visiting a prison

The Tasmania Prison Service encourages family and friends to keep in touch with prisoners throughout their sentence.

Keeping in contact with people in the community can help to support the prisoner while in prison and is also important in helping ex-prisoners to readjust to life in the community when they are released.

The Tasmania Prison System has many rules to ensure the safety of the public, prisoners and staff. The rules can change from time to time and can vary from prison to prison. For that reason any instruction you receive directly from the prison or Correctional Officers cancels out this guide and must be followed.

These rules can be overwhelming when you first visit a prison - a copy of the rules can be found here Visit Rules

COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
As you may be aware, there are increasing numbers of reported cases of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Tasmania and throughout Australia. Preserving the health of our prisoners, staff and visitors is one of the Tasmania Prison Service's core priorities. Unforunately, that has meant that some changes to the way that visits are held have become necessary.

In line with the Tasmanian Government's announcement on 21 March 2020, all personal visits have been suspended at Tasmanian prisons until further notice. In light of this, the TPS has taken steps to ensure prisoners have increased ability to contact loved ones via phone. Skype and other virtual visit options are also being explored. We apologise for any inconvenience and appreciate your ongoing patience and understanding.

The Visitor Reception Centre public opening hours have also changed. With effect from 31 March 2020 visitors will only be able to drop off mail, property items and pay money into a prisoners account during the week. At weekends the office will be closed to the public, however general telephone enquires will continue to be answered every day.

If you have any questions in relation to the changes to visits, you can call the prison on 6165 7391 or email Executive.Support@justice.tas.gov.au

We hope the information on this website is useful in helping you to know what to expect when you visit.

If you are unsure of anything or want more information on visiting, please call the phone number for the prison you are going to visit from the list on the right.

Approved visitors

There are three prisons located within the Risdon site – The Risdon Prison Complex, the Mary Hutchinson Women's Prison and the Ron Barwick Minimum Security Prison.

To visit a prisoner you will need to become an approved visitor.  Before you can become an approved visitor, the prisoner will need to nominate you.

If the prisoner does not nominate you, you will not be allowed to visit them.  Once the prisoner has nominated you, the Visitor Reception Centre will send you an application form.

This application form must be returned to the Visitor Reception Centre with a copy of current photographic identification.  When your application has been processed, you will be sent a letter advising you if your application has been approved.

If your application has been approved, you will need to ring the Visitor Reception Centre to book a visit before arriving at the prison.  All visits must be booked with a minimum of 24 hours notice and no further than 7 days in advance..

The Visitor Reception Centre is open 7 days a week for bookings either by telephone or in person during the hours of 8.30am and 4pm.

Can Children Visit?

Yes, children can visit. However anyone under the age of 18 must be in the company of an adult.

Read more about taking children to visit.

How do I book a visit?

If you are an approved visitor, you should ring the phone number for the prison you wish to visit and book a visit time before coming to the prison.

Do I need to confirm the visit?

Yes, we suggest you phone the prison to confirm the visit. This is because sometimes prisons are in 'lockdown' and visits are cancelled or the prisoner you are visiting may have been moved to another prison.

Visiting times

The visiting times and conditions vary from prison to prison it is best to phone the individual prison to check. A general guide to visiting times can be found here

How many people can visit?

Best to phone the individual prison to check.

A general guide to how many people can visit in each facility can be found here

How often can we visit?

Best to phone the individual prison to check.

Can staff stop a visit?

Yes, if there is any breach of prison regulations or inappropriate behaviour a visit can be stopped or changed to a non-contact visit.

What about delays and cancellations to visits?

Visits may be delayed if someone is running late or if there are security concerns for example. Efforts are made to minimise delays but sometimes they can't be avoided.

Visits will need to be cancelled from time to time. Once again, efforts are made to keep these to a minimum but will occur if:-

  • the prison is in lockdown.
  • the prisoner you are visiting has lost privileges due to a breach of prison rules.
  • the visitor does not follow the rules and procedures of the visit.

What are the different types of visits?

Contact visit

Conducted in designated areas within the prison. Limited physical contact is permitted between the prisoner and visitor.

Non-contact visit

No physical contact is allowed between the prisoner and visitor. These visits are conducted in specially designed cubicles. You might hear them referred to as 'box visits'.

Professional visit

The rules for professional visitors are different and anyone wishing to make a professional visit should contact the prison to obtain details first.

Professional visitors include

  • Officers of the Ombudsman's Office
  • Legal practitioners on official business
  • Official visitors
  • Approved Centrelink staff, and
  • Probation Officers.