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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

Arranging a Visit and General Information Video

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. Unfortunately, that has meant that some changes to the way that visits are held have become necessary.

Following a temporary suspension, personal contact visits will recommence again from Monday 27 July. Bookings can be made from Monday 20 July 2020 by contacting the Visitor Reception Centre on Ph. 6165 7400 during office hours (7 days a week). Please note the following:-

  • Every prisoner regardless of contract level is eligible for one contact visit per week and the remainder of their visits consisting of zoom or box visits.
  • For visits scheduled in The Risdon Prison Complex there is a maximum of two people visiting with a prisoner (this includes children).
  • For visits scheduled in the Ron Barwick Prison there is a maximum of two people visiting with a prisoner (this includes children) Monday's, Thursday’s, Friday's, Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon sessions. A maximum of three people visiting with a prisoner (this includes children) Tuesday's, Wednesday's, Saturday morning and Sunday morning sessions.
  • For visits scheduled in the Mary Hutchinson Women's Prison there is a maximum of three people visiting with a prisoner (this includes children).
  • There will be new processes at the Visitor Reception Centre when you come to visit, with separate door entries required along with small groups only allowed within the centre.  This will mean that you have to wait outside longer.
  • You must not hug or kiss during contact visits.
  • You will need to have your temperature checked and complete a quick questionnaire before being granted entry.

We apologise for any inconvenience and appreciate your ongoing patience and understanding.

Virtual visits are still continuing and visitors wishing to book a virtual visit can contact the VRC during office hours to make a booking.

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 above.

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 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. Please allow up to 5 business days for your application to be processed, then call the VRC to check the progress of your application.

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.

Can Children Visit?

Yes, children can visit. However anyone under the age of 18 must be in the company of an approved visitor, who is their parent or legal guardian.

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.
  • the prisoner has moved to another prison.

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'.

Virtual visit

No physical contact between the prisoner and visitor. These visits are conducted using the software system Zoom from the comfort of your own home or private space. You might hear them referred to as 'video’ or ‘virtual’ 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

Transport Options for Visiting a Person in a Prison

North & North West

City Mission provide a bus to Risdon Prison for people who live in the North or North West of the state wishing to visit relatives in prison.  The bus runs every second Saturday each month and twice in December.

To make a booking please call City Mission during office hours Monday – Friday on (03) 63353000

Please remember once you have secured a seat on the bus you will need to ring the prison on (03) 61657400 to book the visit for the same day.


Family member wishing to visit a relative in prison who do not have a car can go onto the Metro Tas website (link below) to view the bus timetable


or an alternative to catching the bus you would be to catch a taxi, please call one of the following taxi numbers

Taxi Combined - ph: 132227

United Taxis – ph: 132222

Yellow Cabs - ph: 131924