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Visiting prisons

Visitors are welcome at all Western Australian (WA) prisons.  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.

Some 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.

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

  • All prisons have a Code of Conduct reinforcing what behaviour is expected of prisoners and visitors during their visit. 
  • Please note there is a dress standard for visitors entering a prison.  You may not be allowed to enter the prison if your are not dressed appropriately. 
  • You will need to produce indentification to be allowed into a prison.  See FAQs for what types of identification you need.
  • Video cameras operate in all prisons and you will be filmed during your prison visit.
  • All visitors, including babies and children entering a prison may be required to undergo a search.
    • Drug detection dog operate in prisons.  These are 'passive' dogs that are highly trained to detect an illicit substance.
    • There are a number of different searching methods we use on our staff and visitors entering a prison and these include the use of: Drug Detection Dogs (DDD); electronic equipment (such as metal detectors and drug particle detectors); pat-down searches; and strip searches.  Any person caught trying to bring a banned substance or item (refer to FAQs for a list of banned items) 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: 28-Mar-2017