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Current situation

Restrictions to In-person visits to NSW prisons were relaxed from the 5 April 2021. Restrictions on the number of visitors, visit duration, physical contact and the wearing of face masks have been removed. Conditions and rules around these issues have reverted to business as usual arrangement.  COVID-Safe measures in place that remain are conditions of entry, screening and enhanced cleaning.

From Monday 15 March 2021, CSNSW and JH&FMHN commenced the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination program. Vaccinations are being provided to all eligible staff and inmates.

The safety and security of our staff, inmates, visitors and the community remain our top priority.

Key information

As at 21 April 2021:

  • There are 13,098 inmates in full-time custody
  • There has been one confirmed case of COVID-19 in within the inmate population in NSW.
  • There are currently 0 confirmed cases among the inmate population

COVID-19 Service Delivery Plan

The CSNSW Service Delivery Plan was implemented in March and provides the overarching framework for local plans at each of our workplaces including correctional centres. These plans are regularly revised and continue to be informed by expert advice from the Network and other authorities and amended as necessary.

Restrictions to In-person visits to NSW prisons were relaxed from the 5 April 2021. COVID-Safe measures will remain in place, including:

  • Temperature checking and screening processes are in place.
  • All visits are pre-booked.

Make sure you know the rules before making a booking.

Video visits for family and friends

Corrective Services NSW has facilitated more than 145,000 video visits between inmates and their families since mid-March. Video visits have been immensely popular and we will continue to provide this service after in-person visits resume.

For more information or to find out how to book, visit the CSNSW website.

Information for inmates

Our staff hold regular briefings with inmates to ensure new information is communicated quickly and ensure there is a clear understanding of new measures and the rationale behind them.

We continue to provide resources to support inmates.

Inmates with cold or flu like symptoms

If an inmate develops cold or flu-like symptoms, they are immediately isolated and assessed by a clinician to determine if a COVID-19 test is required. The inmate is monitored and will not return to their normal routine until we are confident they pose no COVID-19 risk.

New inmates

We are continuing to implement a 14-day quarantine period for any new inmates entering our system. Inmates are tested upon reception to the correctional facility. During the quarantine period, inmates are monitored. If they develop cold or flu-like symptoms they will be promptly assessed by a clinician to rule out COVID-19. Inmates are only placed into the general population, when cleared by the Network.

Adjustments to programs and education

Ensuring inmates have access to education, programs and services is important. CSNSW continues to run programs and education and we have adjusted service delivery to better accommodate physical distancing practices and reduce the risks for staff and inmates.

Programs and services have been reintroduced at correctional centres in COVID Safe manner.

Supporting vulnerable inmates

Just like in the wider community, there are inmates who are at greater risk if they contract the virus. CSNSW is working with the Network to ensure that the needs of those more at risk are considered. The Network has identified and is closely monitoring inmates at increased risk from infection, including those with a history of chronic illness and the aged. As an added precaution, all inmates with acute respiratory symptoms or fever are being tested for COVID-19, irrespective of potential contact with a confirmed case.

Screening processes at correctional centres

All centres are screening staff and any persons prior to entry. This includes a body temperature check. Anyone with a temperature of 37.5 degrees or above is not permitted to enter. Similarly, anyone exhibiting cold or flu-like symptoms must not return until they are symptom free.

Planning for confirmed cases

Isolation hubs

For any confirmed cases of COVID-19 within our system, we have established dedicated isolation hubs in existing facilities across the state.

If an inmate tests positive for COVID-19, they will be transferred to one of these hubs. These dedicated care facilities will ensure that inmate health and well-being can be appropriately managed.

Temporary hospital

A temporary hospital has been established at the Metropolitan Reception and Remand Centre to manage inmates who become acutely unwell due to COVID-19.

Conditional release power

Legislative changes were made in response to COVID-19 which give the Commissioner for CSNSW authority to conditionally release some low risk and vulnerable inmates from prison, if this is necessary for the safety and effectiveness of our prisons.

To date, no inmates have been released to parole under this arrangement.

For more information read the Stronger Communities Cluster response to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

If you have questions about a friend or family member in custody you can contact us by phone on 02 8346 1300 between 8:30am and 4:30pm Monday to Friday.

Note our staff are bound by the Privacy and Personal Information Act 1998 and the Crimes (Administration of Sentences) Act 1999 which restricts what information they can disclose.

Information for people reporting to Community Corrections

Community Corrections offices remain open and we continue to manage and provide services to people on a court or parole order.

To protect the safety of staff, offenders and the community, some changes have been made to normal services.

The following still applies:

  • If you have been released from custody you must attend your local Community Corrections Office within 24 hours.
  • You must maintain contact with your Community Corrections Officer.

If you are unwell, don’t come to a Community Corrections office. Contact your Community Corrections Officer by phone if:

  • you have any COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat, difficulty breathing), or
  • you have been told to self-isolate, or
  • you have been in close contact with any person who is required to self-isolate, or has tested positive to the coronavirus.

Find the Community Corrections office number in the NSW Government Directory.

Please monitor this page or contact your Community Corrections Office for further information.

Prison infrastructure projects

Building and commissioning work related to critical CSNSW Infrastructure will continue with health and safety modifications in place.

External contractors and third parties employed for infrastructure works remain subject to restrictions and additional screening as outlined in the ‘information for visitors to correctional centres’ section above.

You can read more about CSNSW Infrastructure works on the Better Prison webpage.

If you have questions about our response to COVID-19 you can contact us by phone on 02 8346 1300 between 8:30am and 4:30pm Monday to Friday.

Note our staff are bound by the Privacy and Personal Information Act 1998 and the Crimes (Administration of Sentences) Act 1999 which restricts what information they can disclose.

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Last updated: 26 Apr 2021