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, prisoners are only entitled to retain minimal personal property and the storage of other personal property is by their own arrangement or at their own cost [see Correctional Services Regulations 2016 (SA) reg 7]. The total value of the personal property that they are entitled to retain cannot exceed a total value of $500 and it must be capable of being stored in a receptacle of 60 litres.
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