Prisoner filming and interviews

If you are interviewing and/or filming prisoners there are certain rules you must abide by.

Prisoner privacy

Unless written consent is first obtained, no offender is to be identified in any way.

Offenders whose privacy is breached have the statutory right to take legal action against the media by raising the issue with a Visiting Justice, the Ombudsman or the Privacy Commissioner.

Unless otherwise agreed, any prisoners who agree to be interviewed will be doing so on the basis that they will not be identified. This means you cannot use the prisoner’s:

  • full name
  • face (frontal photographs)
  • and any distinguishing marks, for example tattoos

What happens when you enter prison

All people entering prisons are liable to be searched for possession of drugs and other prohibited items. Searches occur on a random basis. You are free to decline to be searched, but this may mean entry to the prison will be declined.

You will be required to present photo ID (for example your driver’s licence or passport) on arrival at the prison.

Visitors are not allowed to bring transmitting devices, such as pagers, cellphones and unauthorised electronic recording devices, inside prison facilities. This equipment must be left at the prison’s reception or in your vehicle.

Except for the permitted recording equipment, any other items (for example handbags or backpacks) must also be left either at reception or in your vehicle.

What you cannot identify at the prison

You must not identify:

  • Corrections staff who do not wish to be identified
  • Specific security measures at the institution.

You cannot photograph or film keys, security cameras, security systems, locks or computer systems. This will be discussed with you further at the prison.