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.

References for prisoner contact with children

References for prisoner contact with children.

VLA Learning Hub

Marlene Ebejer, Principal Lawyer Ebejer and Associates and lecture in family law, Deakin University presented a paper about prisoner contact with children in April 2012.

See A child's contact with a parent in prison(opens in a new window).

Access for Community legal centres

This lecture can be viewed online by Community Legal Centre staff and volunteers. To gain access staff will need to contact the Professional Legal Education team and ask for the link and password. Lecture materials can also be provided on request.

Please email

Corrections Victoria

This business unit of Department of Justice is responsible for setting the direction, management and operation of Victoria's corrections system. Corrections Victoria's website, Corrections, prisons and parole has information about the governance of prisons in Victoria.

See Corrections, Prisons & Parole.

Standards for prisoners and offenders

These national guidelines set out the broad principles, outcomes and goals to be achieved by correctional services in Australia. Each state and territory must look to these when developing their individual legislation, standards and policies.

These standards, developed by the Department of Justice, set different standards for men and women's prisons. These documents set out the minimum requirements for correctional services in all Victorian prisons.

See Corrections, Prisons & Parole—Standard Guidelines for Corrections in Australia.

Sentence Management Manual

This 4 part manual has been developed by Corrections Victoria to direct prison staff who are involved in the sentence management of prisoners to ensure that they perform their duties consistently and in line with legal and Corrections Victoria requirements.

See Corrections, Prisons & Parole—Sentence Management Manual.

Commissioner's requirements

These documents set out the high level requirements for prison operational matters. They are used to ensure consistency or continuity of correctional practice across the whole prison system, both in public and private prisons.

See Corrections, Prisons & Parole—Commissioner's Requirements.

The Law Handbook

Fitzroy Legal Service's handbook has a chapter to explain the laws that apply to prisoners in Victoria.

See Victoria's prison system.

Corrections, Policy, Practice and Research journal (US)

This 2020 article, based on research from the Arizona Prison Visitation Project, which looks at various kinds of contact (in-person, mail and phone) and the frequency of that contact and the effect this has on the parent-child relationship quality and how this influences child behaviour.

See The differential effects of prison contact on parent-child relationship quality and child behavioral changes 2020 Vol 5 (3) 222-244. (pdf, 1.6 MB)(opens in a new window)

Commissioner's Requirements and Corrections forms

Commissioner's Requirements—Visits by children to restricted access prisoners (pdf, 171 KB)(opens in a new window)

This document sets out the guidelines for visits of children to eligible prisoners who are charged with specific offences against children.

Prisoner application for child visit program (doc, 77 KB)(opens in a new window)

This is the application form that the prisoner must use when applying for access to the child visit program.

Parent or legal guardian consent (doc, 64 KB)(opens in a new window)

This form is used by the parent or guardian of a child where a prisoner is being assessed for access to child contact program in prison. The parent must declare that they are aware of the nature of the prisoner's offence history.

Prisoner consent to release of information (doc, 64 KB)(opens in a new window)

This form is used for prisoners who are consenting to information to being released for the purpose of accessing the child visit program.

Outcome of application for access to child visit program (doc, 59 KB)(opens in a new window)

Form used to advise prisoners of the results of thier application to access the child visit program, giving reasons for decision and special conditions attached.

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.

See particularly, DCI 3.04 Visits—Personal, professional, Adult Parole Board

in Classification of prisoners—Deputy Commissioner's Instructions.

VLA Professional support — Family law practice resources

The Professional support team have collated a page of resources to assist with family law practice. The page links to latest news, case notes and other relevant materials. The 'Related resources' section links to the latest edition of the 'Best practice guidelines for lawyers doing family law work'.

See Practice resources—Family(opens in a new window).

For a list of parenting order precedent documents see Practice resources—Family law resources—Precedent orders(opens in a new window).

Case summaries

For summaries of key family law cases see: Family case notes(opens in a new window).

Family law publications

The following publications may be useful:

  • How to run your family law case
  • Airport watch list order
  • Contravention kit

See Practice resources—Family law resources—Family law publications(opens in a new window).

Note: These resources are only available to staff at Victoria Legal Aid.

The library has shortlisted some key resources for family law. These include loose-leaf services journals and key texts.

See Library and research tools—Family law research links(opens in a new window).

Note: These resources are only available to staff at Victoria Legal Aid.

LexisNexis Practical Guidance: Family law

This resource has checklists and commentary about various family law matters.

See LexisNexis Practical guidance—Family law(opens in a new window).

Note: This resource is only available to staff at Victoria Legal Aid.

Federal Circuit and Family Court

The courts has a series of YouTube videos that are designed to assist people who are representing themselves in court. The video explains how to prepare for court, what to bring, what the court layout looks like and court etiquette. There is also a video that explains how to apply for divorce and how to serve divorce papers.

One video explains how to use the court's e-lodgement system.

See Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia—Official YouTube account(opens in a new window)