M.01.05 Voluntary protective custody (Voluntary segregation)

The purpose of these procedures is to keep vulnerable prisoners, who cannot be managed in a safe manner in mainstream and ensure the prisoners are able to participate in rehabilitation, education and employment.

Voluntary protective custody (Voluntary segregation) criteria

  1. All prisoners are eligible to request voluntary protective segregation.
  2. All requests must be in writing.

M.01.05.01 Request for voluntary protective segregation

  1. When a prisoner requests voluntary segregation, or have indicated they fear for their safety if placed in mainstream, staff must:
    1. inform the prisoner, orally and in writing (M.01.05.Form.03 Information for prisoner requesting voluntary protective segregation) about the voluntary protective segregation regime and the application process including the process for withdrawing the request.
    2. complete Part A of the M.01.05.Form.01 Voluntary protective segregation (request / withdrawal / review).
    3. complete Part B of the M.01.05.Form.01 Voluntary protective segregation (request / withdrawal / review) and ensure the prisoner signs the form confirming consent for the segregation direction.
    4. complete, as soon as practicable, the M.01.05.Form.02 Voluntary protective segregation assessment.
  2. If the assessment of the prisoner for voluntary segregation can not be completed (e.g. after hours):
    1. place the prisoner in a single cell (if available)
    2. ensure the morning staff are aware not to unlock the prisoner until staff are able to complete the voluntary segregation assessment.
  3. If a single cell is not available:
    1. obtain oral approval for the direction of Voluntary segregation from the prison director (or delegate), note the time of oral approval on the form, and
    2. complete the I.08 Shared Accommodation Cell Risk Assessment (SACRA) procedures and place the prisoner with a compatible prisoner.
  4. Create an IOMS Seg 59 1a Voluntary prisoner safety segregation alert and write "oral direction / pending completion of assessment" under comments. (Review date for the alert is the day the prison director (or delegate) gives written approval).

M.01.05.02 Voluntary protective segregation assessment

  1. Staff conducting the assessment must:
    1. complete Part A of the M.01.05.Form.02 Voluntary protective segregation assessment.
    2. consult with their unit PCO / residential manager (if available) or senior officer before completing Part B of the M.01.05.Form.02 Voluntary protective segregation assessment
    3. forward the M.01.05.Form.01 Voluntary protective segregation (request / withdrawal / review) and the completed M.01.05.Form.02 Voluntary protective segregation assessment (Part A and B) to the PCO / residential manager for sign off.
  2. The PCO / residential manager prior to endorsing the recommendation must:
    1. access all available intelligence reports relating to the prisoner, and
    2. be satisfied that voluntary protective segregation is in the prisoner’s best interest, then
    3. complete Part C of the M.01.05.Form.02 Voluntary protective segregation assessment.
  3. The PCO / residential manager must forward the M.01.05.Form.01 Voluntary protective segregation (request / withdrawal / review) and the completed M.01.05.Form.02 Voluntary protective segregation assessment to the prison director (or delegate) for their final decision.

Note 1: Please note: staff decisions will be fully supported by site management if the process is adhered to.

Note 2: Prisoners can withdrawal the request at any time of the process by completing Part C of the M.01.05.Form.01 Voluntary protective segregation (request / withdrawal / review). (See M.01.04.04 Voluntary protective custody (Section 59(1)(a)).

M.01.05.03 Decision on voluntary protective segregation

  1. All decisions regarding voluntary protective segregation requests are made by the prison director (or delegate).
  2. Approval of a request for voluntary protective segregation must be in the prisoner’s best interest.
  3. The outcome of the request and the reasons must be recorded in Part E of the M.01.05.Form.01 Voluntary protective segregation (request / withdrawal / review).
  4. If the prison director (or delegate) makes a verbal approval, this approval must be noted on Part D of the M.01.05.Form.01 Voluntary protective segregation (request / withdrawal / review).
  5. The prison director (or delegate) must complete Part D (if applicable) and Part E of the M.01.05.Form.01 Voluntary protective segregation (request / withdrawal / review) by next business day.
  6. The prison director (or delegate) must update IOMS segregation alert to approved or insert a segregation denied IOMS alert and cancel the prior / pending alert.

M.01.05.04 Procedures for prisoners that have requested voluntary protective segregation

  1. The prisoner must:
    1. be informed of the result of their request, in writing, within one working day of the request by way of a copy of the completed M.01.05.Form.01 Voluntary protective segregation (request / withdrawal / review) and
    2. sign Part F of the original M.01.05.Form.01 Voluntary protective segregation (request / withdrawal / review).
  2. If the request is approved the prisoner must also sign Part G of the original M.01.05.Form.01 Voluntary protective segregation (request / withdrawal / review).
  3. If the request is denied, the prisoner may challenge the decision using the POM Prisoner Complaint procedures.
  4. A prisoner on voluntary protective segregation can complain at any time directly to the Ombudsman or an Inspector of Corrections in relation to the prison director's decision (including conditions or their management).

M.01.05.05 Prisoners voluntary protective segregation reviews

  1. Reviews are completed, using Part H of the M.01.05.Form.01 Voluntary protective segregation (request / withdrawal / review).
  2. Reviews are conducted:
    1. at 6 months or 12 months intervals (Prisoners must be advised of the scheduled review date), or
    2. when it is no longer in the best interest of the prisoner or others, or
    3. there is an incident (negative or positive) involving the prisoner, or
    4. the prisoner requests to exit segregation regime, or
    5. the decision was based on erroneous / false information.

Note: For second and subsequent reviews use the M.01.05.Form.01a Subsequent voluntary protective segregation review and attach it to the original M.01.05.Form.01 Voluntary protective segregation (request / withdrawal / review).

M.01.05.06 Declining and revoking a prisoner’s voluntary protective segregation

  1. If a prison director (or delegate) declines or revokes a request for voluntary segregation, they must provide the reasons in writing (Part E of M.01.05.Form.01 Voluntary protective segregation (request / withdrawal / review) and provide a copy to the prisoner and advise them that they may:
    1. through PC.01 Prisoner Complaint procedures request:
      1. the prison director (or delegate) reconsiders the decision to decline or revoke their request for voluntary segregation, or
      2. the prisoner can exercise their right to ask, directly, the Inspector of Corrections and or the Office of the Ombudsman to review the decision of the prison director (or delegate).
  2. While the complaint is being addressed the prisoner is housed in a mainstream unit that is appropriate to the prisoners circumstances, as assessed;
    1. in Part A.2 of M.01.05.Form.02 Voluntary protective segregation assessment (is placing the prisoner on protective segregation the only way to keep the prisoner safe), or
    2. in Part E of M.01.05.Form.01 Voluntary protective segregation (request / withdrawal / review), or
    3. as noted in Part H of M.01.05.Form.01 Voluntary protective segregation (request / withdrawal / review), or
    4. M.01.05.Form.01a Subsequent voluntary protective segregation review.
  3. Paragraph 2 above does not apply if the direction to revoke is at the request of the prisoner.

M.01.05.07 Prisoner withdrawal of request for voluntary protective segregation

  1. Prisoners can withdraw their request at any time in the process by completing Part C of the M.01.05.Form.01 Voluntary protective segregation (request / withdrawal / review). However any oral request to withdraw from Voluntary Protective Custody must also be acted upon. This oral request must be observed by two officers and a record of it noted and signed by the two witnessing officers. (See M.01.04.04 Voluntary protective custody (Section 59(1)(a))
  2. Staff must witness the prisoner signature acknowledging their intention to withdraw.
  3. If segregation has been directed (orally or in writing) staff must:
    1. conduct a review to ascertain if the prisoner will be at risk from another prisoner(s) (Part H of the M.01.05.Form.01 Voluntary protective segregation (request / withdrawal / review))
    2. note the result of the review
    3. send M.01.05.Form.01 Voluntary protective segregation (request / withdrawal / review) (whole form) to prison director (or delegate), and
    4. edit IOMS alert, writing “prisoner withdrawal” in comments, and
    5. de-active alert.
  4. The prison director (or delegate):
    1. ticks the revoked box on the M.01.05.Form.01 Voluntary protective segregation (request / withdrawal / review) and signs
    2. updates register, and
    3. returns the form to penal file.
  5. If prisoner withdraws before the completion of assessment and no directions has been given (either oral or written) staff must:
    1. de-active IOMS alert and write “prisoner withdrew request prior to completion of assessment” in the comments
    2. write a file note noting the withdrawal of the request for voluntary segregation
    3. complete witnessing officer’s details (Part C of the M.01.05.Form.01 Voluntary protective segregation) and
    4. file documents in penal file.

Note: If staff have concerns that the prisoner will be at risk from another prisoner(s) and there is no reasonable way to ensure their safety, staff must refer the matter to the prison director (or delegate) for consideration on whether to proceed with M.01.03.Form.04 Initial directed protective custody of a prisoner.