29 Aug 2016

Stricter rules for children's visits to prisons

3:13 pm on 29 August 2016

Security surrounding children visiting prisoners is set to be tightened, with the Corrections Department introducing new rules.

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Photo: 123rf.com

The rules, which come into force on Thursday, will require a prisoner wanting visits from a child under 16 to initiate a visitor approval process.

The visit will also need to be pre-approved by the child's guardian and, if there are no court orders prohibiting contact, Corrections will then assess the application.

Current rules leave it up to the child's guardian, parent or caregiver to decide whether it is appropriate to bring a child to prison.

Corrections chief custodial officer Neil Beales said staff needed to know who the children were and how they were connected to the prisoner they were visiting.

He said the new rules would keep visits safe for everyone involved.