M.04.08 Work Parties
Work parties provide employment and skills enhancement for prisoners to facilitate their successful rehabilitation and reintegration into the community. Additionally, they allow prisoners to work for the benefit the community.
M.04.08.01 Prisoners eligible for work party inside the secure perimeter of the prison
- Prisoners who are classified as low security or minimum security are eligible for placement on a work party inside the secure perimeter of the prison.
(Refer M.02.01.Res.03 Security classification placement summary).
M.04.08.02 Prisoners eligible for work party outside the secure perimeter of the prison
- Only the prisoners detailed below are eligible for placement on a work party which conducts its work outside the secure perimeter of the prison. The prisoner must:
- be classified as minimum or low security; and
- have been involved on an internal work party and their participation in that work party was positive.
- Low security prisoners may only be approved to work outside the secure perimeter of the prison if the work is on prison property. Their work area should be clearly defined.
- If the prisoner is sentenced to a term of imprisonment exceeding 24 months, they must be either in the six months prior to their parole eligibility date, or after their parole eligibility date. If a prisoner does not meet this criterion, but has been assessed as having been positively engaged in an internal work party, the Principal Corrections Officer of the prisoner’s unit may request that the advisory panel consider the prisoner for placement if the work is on prison property.
M.04.08.03 Prisoners eligible for work party outside the secure perimeter of the prison in high risk zone for the prisoner
- When determining whether a prisoner should be placed on a work party outside the secure perimeter of a prison, the prison director should consider whether the work party is in a place which is high risk for the prisoner concerned. If the place is at a level of risk that the work party supervisor cannot manage in relation to the prisoner, the application must be declined. In this situation, the prison director should consider if there is a more appropriate work party that the prisoner could be placed on (if they have assessed the prisoner as suitable for placement on a work party outside the secure perimeter.)
- When assessing the prisoner’s risk the prison director should refer to M.04.08.Res.01 Work parties decision making framework.
- Prison directors must exercise their professional judgment in making this determination.
M.04.08.04 Prisoners application and approval for work party outside the secure perimeter of the prison (either on or off prison property)
- Applications for prisoners to be placed on work parties outside the secure perimeter of the prison must be decided by the prison director.
- Applications for prisoners to be approved for placement on an external work party on prison property must be made on the M.04.08.Form.01 Application for placement on a work party outside the secure perimeter.
- Applications for prisoners to be approved for placement on an external work party off prison property must be made on the M.04.08.Form.01 Application for placement on a work party outside the secure perimeter.
- The application must be submitted to the prison director for determination.
- The prison director will receive advice from the advisory panel in making their decision. The prison director will be guided by M.04.08.Res.01 Work parties decision making framework.
M.04.08.05 Prison director’s assessment of suitable work
- The prison director is responsible for ensuring that only suitable work is undertaken by prisoner work parties outside the secure perimeter of the prison.
- To be satisfied that the work is suitable the prison director should ensure that a site assessment is undertaken for all work parties outside the secure perimeter. This assessment must include an evaluation of:
- whether a prison work party has the necessary skills and equipment to carry out the proposed work
- the level of access the community has to the work site (i.e. is it on prison property / in a remote area / in a residential area / in an urban area?)
- the ability of instructors to supervise and monitor the work party include the potential dispersion of prisoners and the ability to undertake muster checks
- the health and safety risks that would be posed to prisoners and the mitigating measures that could be/will be taken to address those risks; and
- any other factors that could create risks to the security and safety of the prisoners or the community.
- The work site assessment will be part of the prison director’s consideration when determining whether a prisoner is suitable for placement on a work party outside the secure perimeter.
M.04.08.06 Recording the decision
- The prison director must keep a record of their decisions made relating to all applications for work parties outside the secure perimeter. This record should include, but is not limited to:
- the result of the application; and
- the rationale for the decision including the factors considered and the people consulted during the decision making process.
M.04.08.07 Decline of application
- If the application is declined by the prison director, the prisoner must be advised of the decision and the reasons for it in writing.
- Complaints by prisoners about a decision on a work parties outside the secure perimeter application may be made by them directly to an Inspector of Corrections or through the internal complaints system.
- If the application is refused, the prisoner’s case officer or case manager should have a discussion with the prisoner about why the application was declined and what their next steps should be.
M.04.08.08 Photograph of prisoners placed on work parties outside the secure perimeter
- The IOMS photograph of prisoners who are placed on work parties outside the secure perimeter must be no more than 3 months old.
M.04.08.09 Supervision of work parties
- The prison director must determine and approve the supervision and reporting requirements for each work party.
- When determining the level of supervision the prison director should take in to account:
- the mix of prisoners approved to be on the work party
- the work site environment (including, but not limited to access to the site by members of the community, identified blind spots, area over which prisoners will be dispersed, line of sight and ability to muster prisoners in five minutes)
- the distance and time from assistance if an incident were to occur.
- The M.01.01.Form.01 Prisoner work party working outside the secure perimeter fence handover should be used to manage work parties outside the secure perimeter.
M.04.08.10 Walk away from a work party outside the secure perimeter
- In the event a prisoner is unaccounted for and unlawfully at large from a work party outside the secure perimeter, staff must respond as per the emergency procedures for a walkaway.
- Staff must immediately notify the prison director or on-call manager who will assume responsibility for the management of the incident and advise the staff member on the appropriate next steps.
- Staff should also contact the VNR co-ordinator who will manage the most appropriate and timely notification to registered victims. The VNR co-ordinator should liaise with the Police during this process.