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Visiting prisons

Many people feel anxious or overwhelmed about their first visit to a prison. The following is designed to prepare you for visiting a prison and aims to make your experience as pleasant and positive as possible.

Visitors are most welcome in all Western Australian (WA) prisons and family and friends are encouraged to maintain contact with prisoners throughout their sentence. Visits are an important link in preparing prisoners for their life in the community when they are released.

Here is a list of what to expect when entering a prison:

  • Anyone, including children and babies may be searched before being allowed to enter a prison. There are 5 types of searches: canine, visual, electronic, rub-down and strip searches.
  • Drug detector dogs operate in prisons. These are 'passive' dogs that simply sit next to a person if they detect an illicit substance.
  • Video cameras operate in all prisons and you will be filmed during your prison visit.
  • Any person caught trying to bring a banned substance (refer to FAQs for a list of banned items) or item into a prison may be charged by police and may be refused entry on future visits to the prison.

Visiting hours

Visiting hours at prisons vary depending on whether the prisoner is remanded or sentenced, and appointments should be made up to 24 hours in advance, where possible. To find visit details for individual prisons including how to get there, visit Prison locations.

Support for visitors

At all WA Metropolitan prisons and some regional prisons, there are additional family support services available for visitors. Family support centres are operated by independent, not-for-profit organisations to help offenders, their families, children and visitors get through the prisoner's sentence as best they can. Before visiting a prisoner at a prison with a family support centre, you must check-in at the centre first.

Family support centres are available 7-days-a-week at Bandyup Women's Prison, Casuarina Prison and Hakea Prison. Services are available at Karnet and Wooroloo prison farms on weekends and public holidays. To find out more contact the individual prison under Prison locations.

Page last updated: 17-Oct-2016