Tasmanian Government Logo
Link to the Tas government site
| Home | Publications | Feedback

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

What to Expect When You Visit a Prison

Once you have been given permission to visit a prisoner and you have phoned and booked your visit time you should arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the start time of the visit.

What Identification do I Need?

At every visit you must provide one of the following forms of current photographic identification: -

  • Australian photo drivers licence;
  • Australian passport;
  • Personal Information Card (issued by Service Tasmania); or
  • Defence Force, Police Service or Student Identification showing recent photo.

Visitors accompanying children under the age of 18 must also provide one of the following, ensuring they are current: -

  • Medicare card;
  • Healthcare Card;
  • Concession Card; or
  • Birth Certificate.

At some prisons your identity will be verified using a biometric system.  This is simply a method of identifying a person by placing that person's hand onto a machine that then reads the person's handprint.

Is there a Dress Code?

There is a dress code when visiting prison facilities. You are required to dress to the following standard:

  • Wear fully enclosed shoes. No thongs, sandals or Ugg boots are permitted
  • No hooded tops or jackets with hoods are to be worn
  • Clothing is not to be of a transparent type or designed or altered to be of a revealing nature.
  • Clothing is to be clean and in good condition.
  • No clothing that displays gang insignia, offensive slogans or obscene words, phrases or pictures is to be worn.
  • No beanies, scarves, baseball caps, sunglasses are to be worn.
  • Plain broad-brimmed hats are permitted only when in outdoor visit areas at the Ron Barwick Minimum Security Prison and the Mary Hutchinson Women’s Prison.
  • No jewellery is permitted, except for wedding rings, engagement rings and simple stud body piercings which staff are satisfied are permanent/unable to be physically removed by the visitor.

If you do not meet the appropriate dress code, you will not be allowed a visit.

Will I be Searched Before Entering the Prison?

Yes.  You will be asked to assist staff to ensure no prohibited items are brought into the prison.  The search could include one or all of the following: -

  • Turning out your pockets
  • Opening your mouth for inspection
  • Being scanned by an electronic device
  • Walking through a metal detector
  • Standing still while a Drug Detection Dog walks around you

The purpose of Drug Detection Dogs is to reduce the introduction of drugs into prisons and act as a deterrent to persons considering trafficking drugs into prison. With immediate effect, should a Drug Detector Dog give an indication to you during a search, you will not be permitted entry into the prison.

Visitors with pacemakers and other medical devices fitted that may be affected by searching devices, need to make an application to the Superintendent, Directorate Security Unit to bypass the roto-turn (search) and provide a medical certificate. When you receive your letter of authorisation from the prison, your medical certificate and letter of authorisation must be shown on entry to the prison.

If prison staff reasonably suspects any visitor of carrying on their person an unauthorised item, the staff member may recommend to the Superintendent of the facility that you be further searched in a separate location. You may refuse to be searched further.

If you refuse to submit to a search, or if any unauthorised item is found as a result of the search, you will be refused entry into the prison and may be charged and found guilty of an offence under the Corrections Act 1997.

If you refuse to submit to a search, or if any unauthorised item is found as a result of the search, you will be refused entry into the prison. Under section 24 of the Corrections Act 1997997 a person who brings into a prison an item that the Director has not authorised to be brought into the prison is guilty of an offence. The penalty for introducing an unauthorised item into a prison is a fine not exceeding 20 penalty units or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months.

What Else Do I Need to Consider Before Visiting?

  • It is important to check before travelling long distances for your visit that the person you are visiting is still accommodated at the Risdon site and is still eligible for a visit.
  • You will need to be at the prison at least 30 minutes prior to the start time of the visit.
  • You will not be allowed to enter the prison if you are inappropriately dressed, or under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Smoking is not permitted anywhere on prison property.
  • Using the toilet during the course of your visit will result in termination of that visit. Toilets are located in the Visitor Reception Centre.