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					ALEXANDER MACONOCHIE CENTRE




 The AMC – Contributing to a safer ACT community




      VISITOR HANDBOOK

       Visit booking number - 02 6205 8589




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                                      TABLE OF CONTENTS

VISITING TIMES .......................................................................................... 4

BOOKING VISITS ......................................................................................... 4

GETTING TO THE AMC ............................................................................... 4
VISITOR DETAILS ………………………………………………………………. 4

ON ARRIVAL AT THE AMC.......................................................................... 5

IRIS SCANNER ............................................................................................ 6

DRESS STANDARDS .................................................................................. 6

SCREENING AND SEARCHING OF VISITORS .......................................... 6

WHAT YOU CANNOT BRING INTO THE VISITS CENTRE ......................... 7

VISITOR BEHAVIOUR ................................................................................. 8
TYPES OF VISITS ........................................................................................ 8

VISITS BY APPLICANTS OR RESPONDENTS TO AN AVO/DVO, OR
PERSONS UNDER A COURT ORDER ........................................................ 8

LEGAL REPRESENTATIVES AND OTHER ACCREDITED VISITORS........ 9

EMERGENCIES ........................................................................................... 9
PRISONER TELEPHONES .......................................................................... 9
MONITORING AND RECORDING ............................................................. 10

PRISONER MAIL........................................................................................ 10
PRISONER TRUST ACCOUNTS ............................................................... 10

PRISONER PROPERTY ............................................................................ 10
PRISONER MEDICAL SERVICES ............................................................. 11

PRISONER SUPPORT SERVICES ............................................................ 11


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           ABOUT THE ALEXANDER MACONOCHIE CENTRE




The Alexander Maconochie Centre is named after Alexander Maconochie who was
superintendent of the Norfolk Island convict settlement from 1840 to 1844. He was a
noted prison reformer who developed a set of principles that laid the foundations for
modern penal practice. In keeping with Maconochie‟s principles, the operating
philosophy of the AMC focuses on the upholding of human rights, prisoner welfare,
rehabilitation and community safety.

The AMC is a maximum, medium and minimum security correctional facility catering
for up to 300 ACT male and female, remand and sentenced prisoners, of all security
classifications. The AMC represents the best in prison design and operational
practice, and focuses on prisoner rehabilitation, safety, health and well-being in a
human rights environment.

We are keen to involve families, and indeed the wider community, in prisoner
rehabilitation.

To learn about how you can access the AMC for prisoner visits and how the
arrangements work for telephone contact, mail, depositing money in a prisoner‟s trust
account and prisoner property you should read this Visitors Handbook carefully.




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VISITING TIMES
There are no visits on Mondays. Visits on the other six days of the week can be made
mornings, afternoons and evenings.

As visiting times can vary, actual visiting times will always be displayed in the Visits
Reception area. An individual prisoner‟s visiting times will be determined by his/her
security classification.

Prisoners are limited to one visit per day. To avoid booking a time that clashes with
the prisoner‟s education or programs, you should make yourself aware of his/her
activity timetable.



BOOKING VISITS
To visit a prisoner at the AMC you must book the visit at least 24 hours in
advance by phoning the AMC and getting approval to the visit at the time and day you
have nominated. The telephone number for making bookings is 02 6205 8589.
For any visit there is a limit of 4 adult visitors and a reasonable number of children.
If you are not able to keep a booking please contact the AMC and cancel it.




GETTING TO THE AMC
ACTION Buses provides a regular bus service from the Woden Interchange to the
AMC, and timetables are obtainable from Reception staff. From the bus stop you
follow the blue line to the AMC entrance. If you are arriving by car there is parking
available. Please park in the area designated for visitors and follow the blue line to
the entrance.



VISITOR DETAILS
Prior to entering the AMC for the first time, you will be asked to provide identity
information and have your iris scanned (see further information below). ACT
Corrective Services collects this information for security purposes only. We want to
ensure that we know who is entering the AMC and that they have a good reason for
visiting. It does not provide this detail to any other organisation unless a crime is
committed by the person while they are at the AMC, after which we might provide
information to the police.




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ON ARRIVAL AT THE AMC
Please arrive at the AMC at least 15 minutes before your scheduled visit. On arrival
you should report to the Visitor Reception counter and be identified. You must then
complete a „Visitors Form‟ for you and each of the visitors, including children.

On the first visit, all adult visitors (over the age of 18) will need to present
personal identification – one from List 1, and one from List 2 (below). The
identification must contain the visitor‟s photograph and current residential address.
On the first visit the visitor will be enrolled on the electronic eye scanner for
identification purposes. An eye scan is sufficient for future visits.

List 1
        Driver‟s Licence (from any Australian state or territory);
        Passport (current or one that has expired in the last 2 years); or
        Keypass photographic identification.

List 2
        Birth certificate (original or extract);
        Electoral Roll (acknowledgement of receipt);
        Utility records eg. water, gas, electricity, telephone (issued within 6 months of
         intended visit);
        Current registration papers (car or boat);
        Marriage Certificate;
        Australian naturalisation or citizenship certificate;
        Current entitlement card used by a Government Department or Authority;
        Department of Immigration papers;
        Rent or lease papers; or
        Signed credit or debit card.

All identification must be current, valid, and in the name of the proposed visitor. No
photocopies or scanned images will be accepted.

A visitor under the age of 18 must arrive on their first visit to the AMC with their parent
or legal guardian. The parent or legal guardian must provide the child‟s birth
certificate and evidence that they are the legal guardian of the child (eg. Medicare
card). The parent or legal guardian will be asked if they give permission for the child
to visit in the company of a different responsible adult. The parent or legal guardian
must specify in writing who the adult is, and which prisoners they give permission for
the child to visit. Children over the age of 8 years will be enrolled on the electronic eye
scanner for identification purposes.

A restricted visitor is prohibited from having contact visits for a period of time
determined by the Superintendent of the AMC. A banned visitor is prohibited from
visiting the AMC or the AMC grounds for a period of time to be determined by the
Superintendent, with the exception of being permitted to attend the AMC reception to
drop off money for a prisoner‟s trust account.




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IRIS SCANNER
Each visitor to the AMC must be iris scanned before entry. Prisoners, staff,
tradespeople and even official visitors are all iris scanned. Visitors must pass through
the iris scanner units within the Gatehouse building to enter and exit the prison

The iris scanner in Visits Reception takes a digital image of the iris in your eyes. This
is a type of biometric image that is specific to each individual. That image is then
encoded as data and stored in the AMC database. Each time you use the iris scanner
units in the gatehouse, the scanner matches your iris image with the data on the
database to confirm your identity.

Initial registration and use of the iris scanner can take up to 10 minutes per person but
simplifies later visits by removing the need for visitors to provide detailed identification
each time they visit.

The use of these data images is governed by the Privacy Act 1988. ACT Corrective
Services is not permitted to use them for any other purpose and they are not provided
to any other agency. They are encrypted so that only the AMC iris scanners are able
to match your iris with the image data on the database.

Visitors can ask to have their iris data deleted from the AMC database. If you stop
visiting the AMC, there is no need for ACT Corrective Services to retain your iris data.
You can have the data deleted by asking Visits Reception staff to do so or by writing
to the Superintendent, AMC Locked Bag 7775, Canberra Business Centre 2609.
From time-to-time, ACT Corrective Services will delete iris data from its database,
such as when staff leave or when additional data space is required.




DRESS STANDARDS
Dress standards apply at the AMC and the following will not be permitted:
       Sexually provocative clothing;
       Offensive articles eg. Offensive t-shirt slogans; or
       Hats.




SCREENING AND SEARCHING OF VISITORS
To gain access to Visitor Reception you and your approved belongings will pass
through a range of electronic scanners. These scanners are very sensitive and are
designed to detect any prohibited items.

You may also be searched at any time while on AMC property, and correctional staff
have the power to stop and search any persons or vehicles at the AMC and may use
Passive Alert Detection (PAD) dogs in searches.

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WHAT YOU CANNOT BRING INTO THE VISITS CENTRE
You must not bring certain items into the Visits Centre. A full list of prohibited items
can be found in Reception, and includes items such as:

       alcohol
       illicit or non-prescribed drugs, needles or syringes
       cameras and recording devices
       mobile phones or mobile phone parts
       weapons (or anything that can be used as a weapon)
       keys
       explosives or explosive devices
       any other item that may be prohibited.

               These are called prohibited items and it is an offence
               under the Corrections Management Act 2007 to bring
               a prohibited item into the AMC, give a prohibited item
                to a prisoner, or remove a prohibited item from the
                 AMC. This offence carries a maximum penalty of
                         $10,000 or 1 year in prison, or both.

Other items you must not bring into the Visits Centre include, cigarettes, money,
cheques, gifts, valuables, jewellery, photos or letters, hats, scarves, sunglasses, food
and drink. Lockers are provided, however, space is limited, so please restrict
personal belongings to a minimum. Notices near the lockers advise you how to use
them. You can exchange money for tokens at the Visitor Reception area to purchase
items (snack food, soft drinks etc) from vending machines inside the Visits Centre.

If you have an infant with you, you may take into the Visits Centre one baby bottle
containing milk, juice or water. You may also take one baby blanket, and one
dummy/pacifier. A change room is available off the Visits Reception – nappies are not
to be changed in the Visits Centre. Prams and strollers cannot be taken into the Visits
Centre and the AMC accepts no responsibility for these or any other items left in the
Visitor Reception. AMC strollers are available, if required.

We understand that visitors to correctional centres can be put under pressure by
prisoners or other persons to bring drugs or other prohibited items. Should you be
placed in this position when visiting the AMC, you should advise correctional staff
immediately. Likewise, if you have responded to this pressure by attempting to bring
drugs or other prohibited items into the AMC you should advise correctional staff
immediately, or you should leave the AMC grounds.

Remember, the security and detection systems at the AMC are designed to detect
drugs or other prohibited items. Persons found attempting to bring drugs or other
prohibited items into the AMC will be charged, and the penalties are severe.

If you have any questions about what you can and cannot take into the Visits
Centre please speak to a staff member.




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VISITOR BEHAVIOUR
Rules are displayed in the Visits Centre and must be obeyed at all times:

All staff directions must be followed. Violations of these rules will result in the
visit being terminated and you may become a banned or restricted visitor. If a
prisoner is involved in a violation of these rules, disciplinary action may result.



TYPES OF VISITS
In normal circumstances your visit will take the form of a contact visit. However, the
Superintendent may direct that the visit be a non-contact visit. You will be advised of
the form of visit you will be allowed when you arrive at Visitor Reception.

Subject to availability and to individual prisoner management and privileges, you can
organise a self-cook barbecue in the Visits Centre during a contact visit. The
barbecue packs must be pre-ordered when you book the visit and must be paid for on
arrival. Persons who use the barbecues are responsible for cleaning them, and
cleaning materials are provided.

The other type of contact visit that may be available is a family visit, which takes place
in the family visits rooms. The purpose of these visits is to foster positive family
relationships and ease the transition from prison to the community. Family visits are a
privilege and have to be applied for by the prisoner.

Prisoners in the Management Cells (male or female), the Crisis Support Unit or in the
High Needs Cottage (female), cannot apply for a family visit.

A family visit may be taken in any one period during the visiting day, for example the
morning or afternoon sessions, and must cease at the conclusion of that period.

For further information about family visits please speak to Reception staff.



VISITS BY APPLICANTS OR RESPONDENTS TO AN AVO/DVO, OR
PERSONS UNDER A COURT ORDER
If you are a visitor and are an applicant or respondent to an Apprehended Violence
Order (AVO) or a Domestic Violence Order (DVO) against the prisoner you wish to
visit, you cannot visit that prisoner. Please remember that these Orders remain active
within the AMC.

If you are subject to a court order, you must provide a copy of the order to the Visits
Officer upon arrival. The Officer will then decide whether the visit should proceed.



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LEGAL REPRESENTATIVES AND OTHER ACCREDITED VISITORS
Legal representatives must be involved in the legal representation of the prisoner that
they are visiting. On request, the legal representative must provide evidence of their
involvement in the particular prisoner‟s legal proceedings.

Legal visitors have to follow the same rules as other visitors, except that they are
permitted to bring legal documentation into the visit, and legal visits may be
conducted in a designated interview room. Prisoners and legal representatives may
request a non-contact or non-private visit.

Other accredited visitors are subject to the same standards as legal visitors, except
that by negotiation with the Superintendent, they may apply to visit prisoners outside
the Visits Centre.



EMERGENCIES
The AMC has a comprehensive emergency evacuation plan and procedures. In the
event of an emergency, such as fire, you must obey all instructions given by staff to
ensure smooth evacuation of buildings, if necessary, and for all other types of
response.



PRISONER TELEPHONES
ACTCS realises the importance of prisoners being able to make telephone contact
with their family and friends, legal representatives and other accredited persons, and
encourages prisoners to use the Prisoner Telephone System (PTS). A prisoner may
establish an AMC telephone account. The number of calls a prisoner can make is
limited by the funds in their telephone account. Visitors, family and friends may
deposit money into a prisoner‟s trust account.

A prisoner has access to the PTS during normal “out of cell” times, at times which do
not conflict with programs, education or work.

A prisoner cannot accept incoming telephone calls using the PTS. In certain
circumstances, such as a family emergency, a message may be left with the control
room to be passed on to the prisoner.

Calls are strictly limited to 10 minutes.




                                            9
MONITORING AND RECORDING
Private calls made on the PTS are recorded on the system‟s recording facility. A
recorded message is transmitted at the commencement of calls made on the PTS
informing the prisoner and the call recipient that the communication may be
monitored.



PRISONER MAIL
A prisoner may send unlimited mail at his/her own cost and writing materials are
supplied. Stamped envelopes may be purchased through the AMC buy-up system on
a weekly basis.

Incoming mail may be opened, searched, and read where appropriate, (except in the
case of protected mail) prior to being delivered to the prisoner. Mail between a
prisoner and their legal representative is protected and will not be read.

Money or cheques must not be enclosed in letters sent to prisoners. Instead, money
may be deposited in the prisoner‟s trust account (see below).



PRISONER TRUST ACCOUNTS
All prisoners have a trust account, in which family and friends can deposit money for
the prisoner‟s use. Prisoners may use the money in their trust account to pay for
telephone calls and to purchase a range of items (toiletries, food, soft drinks, etc)
through the buy-up system.

Money for a prisoner‟s trust account may be deposited at the AMC via cash, money
orders or bank cheques during reception opening hours. No personal cheques will be
accepted. There is a limit of $100 per week that each prisoner can receive into their
trust account.



PRISONER PROPERTY
If a prisoner wishes to have property brought into the AMC, they must check with staff
to see whether it will be accepted prior to submitting a request form. Property will not
be accepted without an approved request form.

If a prisoner wishes to sign property out to a family member or friend, they must
submit a request form with the person‟s name and the requested date of collection.




                                           10
PRISONER MEDICAL SERVICES
All prisoners have access to essential medical, dental and mental health services in
keeping with general accepted community practices and standards, including access
to screening, referral and treatment services. Other non-essential services may be
accessed by referral.

In the event of serious illness a prisoner may be transferred to a public hospital and
the prisoner‟s next of kin will be notified.



PRISONER SUPPORT SERVICES
A range of services provided by community organisations is available to prisoners as
well as the families and friends of prisoners. These include:

       ACT Ombudsman

       Human Rights Commission

       Aboriginal Liaison Officer

       Alcoholics Anonymous

       Canberra Rape Crisis Centre

       Chaplaincy

       Directions ACT (Assisting Drug Dependence Inc.)

       Domestic Violence Crisis Service

       Office of the Public Advocate

       Official Visitor

       Prisoners Aid Association

       Salvation Army (including Mancare)

       WIREDD (Women‟s Information, Resources, Education on Drugs and
        Dependency).

       Women‟s Legal Centre/Welfare Rights and Legal Centre




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This information has been provided to you
to help you make the most of your visits to
   the AMC. Your visits and continuing
    contact with the prisoner are very
  important and much appreciated. We
understand that visits can often involve a
   great deal of time and effort. We are
always pleased to receive suggestions as
   to how we could improve the visits
      arrangements and processes.




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