This website is for use by legal professionals (lawyers and law practices) only. If the information is used incorrectly, you could risk losing money or your legal rights. If you are a member of the public looking for free advice about your legal problems please visit, or contact our Legal Help advice line on 1300 792 387, Monday to Friday from 8 am to 6 pm. 

If you decide to use or rely on the information or make decisions based on the information in this website (which VLA does not recommend) VLA is not liable to you or any third party in any way for any loss, damage, costs or expenses you or they may suffer or incur as a result.

Property lost during transit

Information about what happens if a prisoner's property is lost when they are being transported from one prison to another.

Before a prisoner is transferred from one prison to another, the executive officer or business support officer of the prison has to make sure that all the prisoner’s property is accounted for and recorded on the property record. This should be done in the presence of the prisoner (if possible) or in the presence of a second staff member. If any of the stored property is missing or damaged, this must be documented and referred to the General Manager.

After property is accounted for:

  • all of the prisoner’s property should be placed in a ‘property tub’
  • this should have been transferred with the prisoner to the new prison.

What the prisoner needs to do:

  • if part or all of the contents of the property tub is lost, the prisoner will need to write to the executive officer or business support officer of the prison they have been moved from
  • provide proof of ownership.

The prisoner should write to the officer within 30 days of the transfer.

See DCI 4.08 Prisoner property Deputy Commissioner's Instructions(opens in a new window).

What the prison will do

It is the responsibility of the sending prison to investigate. The Property Store of the prison (where the prisoner has been sent from) will investigate, looking at the evidence of ownership and the circumstances of the loss. The prison should write to the prisoner to tell them the outcome of their investigation.

Where to complain

If the property is not found, or if the prisoner is not happy with the investigation they can complain to the ombudsman.

More information


Corrections Act 1986 (Vic)

  • s. 47—prisoner's rights

See Corrections Act 1986 (Vic)(opens in a new window).


Deputy Commissioner's Instructions


  • DCI 1.04 Contraband and controlled items
  • DCI 4.08 Prisoner property

in Deputy Commissioner's Instructions(opens in a new window).

Victorian Ombudsman

See Victorian Ombudsman—Prison(opens in a new window)s.