F.05 Prisoner accounts and purchases

Prisoners can make regular purchases of basic goods for personal use or consumption and have access to a range of items not provided by the prison, in accordance with the offender's plan and are able to purchase, within reason, goods of a cultural or religious nature.

F.05.01 Prisoner trust account

  1. An individual trust account is established to manage a prisoner’s personal fund following his/her reception.
  2. Prisoner money is managed through the trust account in accordance with accepted accounting standards.
  3. Each deduction from a prisoner’s trust account is authorised by him/her in writing.
  4. Expenditure by a prisoner does not exceed the balance of funds held in his/her trust account. Trust balances are to be limited to a maximum of $200.00 per prisoner at any one time, unless specific approval of the residential manager is obtained.
  5. Prisoner trust account expenditure is to be limited to a maximum of $70.00 per week.
  6. Prisoners are not to be prevented from sending funds out of the prison at any time, including prior to release.
  7. Prisoners must be advised on reception that their trust money may be monitored if there are grounds to believe that the account, or trust money, is being used for any unlawful purpose.

F.05.02 Canteen shopping ordering goods rules

  1. Each prison has a written purchasing procedure that identifies the timetable, for purchase and delivery of canteen goods.
  2. The appropriate canteen list must be completed for purchasing; grocery, toiletries, phone cards, stamps and confectionary items.
  3. Canteen lists are printed and distributed to prisoners for them to order goods.
  4. The total value / amount of the order cannot exceed the prisoner’s available trust account balance.
  5. Prisoners are able to purchase phone cards via the canteen shopping system, inclusive of their $70.00 weekly expenditure.
  6. Prisoners are still permitted to have phone cards sent in via mail or received via visits.
  7. Prison staff must use discretion on establishing reasonable amounts of phone cards and total value in order that they are not used as currency when issued (e.g. $60.00 worth of phone cards in their cell or possession at one time).
  8. All issued cards, whether purchased or provided by family, must be endorsed with the prisoner's name in indelible ink.
  9. Prisoners must not order any additional fruit or fruit-based items that would result in the prisoner exceeding the allowable maximum limit of nine fruit or fruit-based items each prisoner is permitted to keep in the cell.
  10. Unit staff collect completed forms from prisoners.
  11. Unit officer sends canteen lists to the appropriate administration support officer.

F.05.03 Receiving and distribution of canteen goods

  1. In the presence of unit staff, the prisoner checks the received goods.
  2. Prisoner signs canteen list as having received the correct goods.
  3. Unit staff returns signed forms to the appropriate administration support officer.
  4. Non satisfactory goods, i.e. damaged, incorrect, etc. are returned to the appropriate administration support officer who arranges replacement and/or return of goods.
  5. In the presence of unit staff, prisoner signs for any replaced goods upon receipt.
  6. Unit staff return signed forms to the appropriate administration support officer.

F.05.04 Emergency stock

  1. The prison director decides the necessity to hold emergency stock, taking into account the following:
    1. The stocks held are not the main supply of goods for prisoners, but are a limited supply with strict controls to accommodate only the immediate urgent prisoner needs.
    2. A prisoner on transfer or admission has reasonable access to purchase telephone cards without undue delay.
    3. The nature and flexibility of general prisoner purchasing contracts held with the suppliers do not accommodate the urgent prisoner needs.
  2. An emergency stock of goods that may be held at the prison for prisoners to purchase is limited to the following specific range of items:
    1. Telephone card.
  3. Emergency stocks are held in a secure location and access is limited to nominated staff responsible for the issue and receipt of goods.
  4. The issue of emergency stocks is strictly controlled and exercised only when deemed necessary, on the approval of the residential manager or on-call manager.
    Note: Staff members may not purchase emergency stocks for their personal use.
  5. Short-term accused / remand prisoners may purchase emergency stock and use cash where establishing an individual trust account is not appropriate.
  6. F.05.Form.01 Prisoner request to expend funds (P119), rather than the canteen list, is used for all purchases from emergency stock, and authorised in writing in accordance with general purchasing requirements.

F.05.05 Prisoner purchases

  1. F.05.Form.01 Prisoner request to expend funds (P119) must be completed for:
    1. Purchasing authorised items.
    2. Financial transactions (for example; bank transfer, sending out property items, subscriptions for approved authorised items).
      Watch Point

      Bank transfer is the only way someone can do a financial transaction to send money from their trust account to a third party, as cheques are no longer used or accepted by banks.

  2. For medical /dietary and religious items the unit PCO must consult Health Services or religious advisor respectively.
  3. The PCO may approve or decline a prisoner request to expend funds. Where the request exceeds the $70 weekly limit, the PCO at their discretion may liaise with the residential manager when considering the request.
  4. When the requested purchase items are authorised property that may be problematic; the PCO at their discretion, may refer the request to the residential manager for consideration and decision.
    Note: Refer to [P.05.Res.01 Items that are prohibited to be in the possession of or issued to prisoners (Prohibited Items)].
  5. If the request is approved, the form is signed by the appropriate person and forwarded to the appropriate administration support officer for processing.
  6. If the request is declined, the form is noted and returned to the prisoner.
  7. When goods are received, the form is signed by the prisoner to signify the receipt of goods.
  8. Non-satisfactory or damaged goods are returned to the supplier to rectify.

F.05.06 Welfare funds

  1. The Prisoner Welfare and Entertainment Fund and other welfare-based accounts facilitate expenditure of money allocated or donated for the general welfare of prisoners.
  2. Welfare and special purpose fund accounts are established at the prison director's discretion and managed according to their approved operational charter.
    1. The need for a welfare fund is identified.
    2. A charter is written for the proposed fund account according to requirement.
    3. The charter is negotiated, and where agreed, approved in writing by the prison director.
    4. The account is managed according to the approved charter.