The Chief Executive of the Department for Correctional Services decides where each prisoner is sent [see Correctional Services Act 1982 (SA) s 22]. Each prisoner who has been sentenced to more than six months imprisonment must be assessed by the Chief Executive as soon as possible after admission and from then on, at least once every twelve months [s 23]. This is to determine whether the prisoner should be transferred, either within the prison or to another prison. Following an assessment, the prisoner is classified as high, medium or low security. A Prisoner Assessment Committee assists and advises the Chief Executive with this task and considers factors under subsection 23(3) of the Act such as:
- the prisoner's age and sex
- the prisoner's social, medical, psychological and vocational background (that is, working or professional)
- the nature of the prisoner's offence(s) and the length of the sentence
- the prisoner's needs for treatment or education
- the prisoner's suitability for particular forms of training or work
- the prisoner's behaviour while in prison
- maintaining the prisoner's family ties
- proposals for the prisoner's release and rehabilitation
- other relevant matters.
The committee must take into account a prisoner's written or verbal representations when they consider the assessment.
On arrival, all prisoners have their personal possessions and clothing taken, listed and placed in storage. There are precise regulations as to the quantity of personal possessions the Department will store for a prisoner while the sentence is being served [Correctional Services Regulations 2001 reg 7]. Newly arrived prisoners are issued with prison clothing and immediately placed in their cells.
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