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When are prisoners transported?

Transfers of prisoners happen frequently. Prisoners may be moved from the prison where they are being held on remand to attend court. Prisoners may also be moved from one prison to another for security reasons, whether this is for their own protection or that of other people, or simply because there is a vacancy in a particular place.

A prisoner could also be moved because:

  • of their classification (if they need protection or a particular level of security)
  • a gaol order has been issued by the court to allow them to attend
  • they have a medical or dental appointment
  • a request has been made to extradite them to another country
  • the Department of Home Affairs has made a deportation order
  • of a mental health transfer (for example, to Thomas Embling hospital)
  • the prison believes that their presence in one prison is likely to jeopardise security, or
  • they are going to take part in a particular course, for example a sex offenders program.

Request to be moved

A prisoner could request a transfer to another prison and this will be considered.

Moving between one prison and another

The Sentence Management Division is responsible for co-ordinating, proposing and finalising all transport between prisons. This transport is provided by the prison transport contractor.

Unless there are exceptional circumstances, prisoners must have at least 10 days left to serve before they can be transferred from one prison to another.

The prison escort co-ordinator (within the Sentence Management Division) is responsible for completing the prisoner transport request at each prison. This list gives instructions to the prisoner transport operator for the scheduling, management and placement of prisoners in the prison transport vehicles. This list must be sent by 3 pm and no later than 6 pm on the day before the scheduled escort.

Checks of prisoner's property

Before a prisoner is transported from one prison to another, prison management must make sure that the prisoner’s property is checked, itemised, recorded and sealed while the prisoner is there. All of their money has to be balanced and transferred into their account.

See 4.1—Inter-prison transfers in Interprison and police/court transfers in Part 4 Corrections, Prisons & Parole—Sentence Management Manual(opens in a new window) and Prisoner money.

Other prison transport

Prison management is responsible for transportation:

  • to courts and tribunals where this is outside the normal transport schedule
  • escorts for medical or dental treatment or assessment, and
  • transfers to Thomas Embling or the secure ward at St Vincent’s hospital.

See Interprison and police/court transfers in Part 4 Corrections, Prisons & Parole—Sentence Management Manual(opens in a new window).

More information

Legislation

Corrections Act 1986 (Vic)

  • s. 9CAA—allows prisoners to be transported by an authorised entity, despite any reference to role of Victoria police
  • Part 8—temporary absence from prison
  • s. 55C—functions and powers of escort officers in relation to prisoners
  • s. 55G—functions and powers of escort officer in relation to persons surrendering to court
  • s. 56—transfers between prisons
  • s. 56AA—transfers to and from police jails

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

Corrections Regulations 2019 (Vic)

  • r. 23—leave of absence to attend court or hearing
  • r. 24—responsibility of the governor to make sure that the prisoner wears civilian clothes to a hearing
  • Schedule 2—Order to bring a prisoner before a court or coroner

See Corrections Regulations 2019 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Criminal Procedure Act 2009 (Vic)

  • s. 332—transfer of accused between place of detention and court

See Criminal Procedure Act 2009 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities 2006 (Vic)

  • s. 10—protection from torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment

See Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

References

Sentence Management Manual

  • Inter-prison and police/court transfers

See 'Part 4' Corrections, Prisons & Parole—Sentence Management Manual(opens in a new window).

Updated