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Recreational programs

Information about the fitness, sport and recreational programs that may be available for people in prisons.

Each prisoner should be allowed to access fresh air for at least an hour each day, weather permitting.

Prisons make leisure activities available each day. This activity involves a mix of active, passive, individual and group activities such as walking, fitness and sporting activities. A schedule of available activities is posted on prison notice boards. Prisoners should be told about the various facilities and programs at orientation when they first arrive in the prison.

There is a focus on establishing productive use of leisure time. The prisons will deliver leisure activities that prisoners will be able to continue after they are released from prison.

Programs should also be developed to be inclusive of the needs of prison population. For example, they must develop programs that address the recreational needs of prisoners who have cognitive impairment, psychiatric, sensory or physical disabilities.

Taking attendance

The prisoner’s participation will be recorded and added to their Individual management file (IMP).


Types of programs

Recreational programs include:

  • Prison Fellowship Australia:
    • volunteer visitors to all Victorian prisons
    • book club at Port Phillip Prison
    • SLAM, a sports program operating state-wide
  • Prison Network Ministries:
    • craft and family-oriented activities at Tarrengower and Dame Phyllis Frost Centre
    • Indigenous-specific programs including NAIDOC Week events
  • Red Cross, Salvation Army and VACRO:
    • direct social support to prisoners, for example, in facilitating visits.

More information


Corrections Act 1986 (Vic)

  • s. 47(1)(a)—if not ordinarily engaged in outdoor work, prisoners have the right to be in the open air for at least an hour each day, weather permitting

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


Deputy Commissioner's Instructions

The Deputy Commissioner's Instructions (DCIs) set out detailed guidelines for the management and operation of public prisons and prisoners in Victoria. Private prisons must follow a similar set of Operating Procedures, which, like the Deputy Commissioner's Instructions, put into practice the Standards and Commissioner's Requirements to ensure a consistent system across the entire Victorian Prison network.


  • DCI 3.06 Fitness, sport and recreation
  • DCI 4.16 Prisoner access to videotapes, DVDs and Pay TV

in Classification of prisoners—Deputy Commissioner's Instructions.