P.11 Prisoner television (TV) rental scheme
The purpose of these procedures is to ensure all prisoners have the opportunity to access a Department owned 19” clear cased television.
- These procedures apply to all prisoners who voluntarily participate in the television rental scheme.
- If a prisoner does not participate in the scheme they will not be permitted to have access to a television in the cell (If the scheme is operating in the prison they are accommodated in).
- When a prisoner voluntarily participates in the television rental scheme the issuing of the aerial coax cable and television remote control may not occur in all prisons, on all occasions, due to prison's different management of the television rental scheme, and/or the availability of either item.
P.11.02 Prisoner’s request to participate in the rental scheme
- All prisoners are to receive the P.11.Form.01 Information for prisoners on the prison television rental scheme as part of their unit induction interview. Prisoners can participate in television rental scheme, at any time.
- If a prisoner advises they would like to participate in the television rental scheme, staff must:
- provide the prisoner with a P.11.Form.02 Request to opt into the television rental scheme
- explain to the prisoner the conditions associated with the television rental scheme
- if necessary, assist the prisoner in completing the request form, and
- complete the relevant section on the request form in the presence of the prisoner to confirm that the conditions were explained to the prisoner who acknowledged they understood the conditions.
P.11.03 Placement of television in prisoner’s cell
- The completed P.11.Form.02 Request to opt into the television rental scheme must be forwarded to the unit’s senior corrections officer, who will arrange for:
- a television to be placed into the prisoners cell, within a 24 hours of the prisoner completing the P.11.Form.02 Request to opt into the television rental scheme, unless it is not reasonably practicable
- the television to be tested in the presence of the prisoner and confirmed by the prisoner as functional
- the condition of the television (in terms of whether there is any damage that does not interfere with functionality) to be assessed.
- The prisoner is to confirm on the P.11.Form.02 Request to opt into the television rental scheme that a television, and if appropriate, a aerial coax cable and television remote control (with batteries) have been issued and their condition.
- Staff must update IOMS when the television has been placed in the cell:
- Prisoner property screen
- Property Items details
- Select the new icon - the above tool bar
- Date Received – please enter the date television is issued as per the P.11.Form.02 Request to opt into the television rental scheme
- item type - please select electrical
- Item - please select Department Rental television
- Manufacturer / Make / Model / Label – please type Corrections
- Serial Number – (just place xxxx)
- Source – Corrections
- Condition – As per conditions report on P.11.Form 02 Request to opt into the television rental scheme
- select save
- The completed P.11.Form.02 Request to opt into the television rental scheme must be forwarded to Trust.
P.11.04 Registering a prisoner’s participation
- On receipt of the completed P.11.Form.02 Request to Opt into the television rental scheme the Trust staff must:
- register the date the prisoner began their participation in the scheme (the date the prisoner acknowledged that the television was working)
- record when the 90 day free rental period ends
- return the form to the unit with a stamp confirming receipt.
- The Trust staff must, 14 days prior to when the 90 day free rental expires, advise the unit staff when the deduction of the rental charge from the prisoner’s trust account will begin.
P.11.05 Request for financial hardship assistance / exceptional circumstance
- On receipt of the advice from Trust of when the weekly rental will begin to be deducted, unit staff will advise the prisoner when the deductions will begin and the amount.
- Staff are to enquire if the prisoner will continue participation in the scheme. If the prisoner advises they will continue in the scheme they will be required to complete the P.11.Form.03 Continuation or withdrawal from the television rental scheme and unit staff will advise the Trust to deduct the rental charge after the 90 day free rental expires.
- If the prisoner advised they wish to withdraw from the scheme, staff are to enquire whether the withdrawal relates to financial reasons. If the reason for the withdrawal is due to financial hardship, staff must provide the prisoner a copy of the P.11.Form.04 Consideration for financial hardship assistance and if necessary, assist the prisoner in completing the form.
- The completed P.11.Form.04 Consideration for financial hardship assistance is to be forwarded to the Trust Office for assessment. Trust will return the form with completed details to the unit principal corrections officer (PCO), who then either signs it off, or in exceptional circumstances, forwards the completed form on to the prison director with his / her recommendations in support of the application.
- The prisoner’s application may include a request for an increased reduction or waiver of the rental fee for 90 days if there are exceptional circumstances that make it difficult for the prisoner to pay the full or reduced fee. This option is open to all prisoners, including those whose average weekly funds exceed the monetary threshold of $5.40.
P.11.06 Automatic reduction due to financial hardship
- On receipt of the completed P.11.Form.04 Consideration for financial hardship assistance, Trust staff will assess whether the prisoner qualifies for the automatic 50% reduction in the rental fee. If a prisoner applies for a reduction in the weekly rental fee for a period of 90 days on the grounds of financial hardship, and the free rental period applies, the consideration will not be processed until the end of that period. Otherwise it will be processed immediately.
- If the average weekly funds available to the prisoner over the 90 days leading up to application processing date are less than $5.40, they will receive a 50% reduction in the rental fee over the 90 days following the application processing date.
- Average weekly funds are calculated by taking the balance of the prisoner’s trust account at the start of the 90 days leading up to the application processing date and adding all the income received into the trust account (e.g. deposits, allowances) over those 90 days. This amount is then divided by 90 days then multiplied by 7 days to get average weekly funds.
- The prisoner is to be advised if they are eligible for the reduction on financial hardship, the amount of reduction and when the deductions will begin.
P.11.07 Consideration for financial hardship assistance / exceptional circumstances
- The prisoner may request that the prison director approve an exemption of the rental charge by completing the “exceptional circumstances” section of the P.11.Form.04 Consideration for financial hardship assistance, if the prisoner considers there are other factors that should be considered when determining whether the television should be provided free of charge or when a reduced rental charge apply.
- If the prisoner has completed the “exceptional circumstances” section to justify a discretionary rental reduction (regardless of whether or not the prisoner qualifies for the automatic reduction) Trust staff, after completing the financial hardship assessment will forward the P.11.Form.04 Consideration for financial hardship assistance to the unit PCO for his / her decision or make a recommendation to the prison director to determine if there are exceptional circumstances.
- When considering if there are exceptional circumstances the prison director will take into account:
- the prisoner’s average weekly funds over the 90 days prior to their application, and
- any supporting information they provided as evidence, and
- any other information he or she considers relevant including the factors contained in P.11.Res.03 Guidelines for Determining if prisoner has exceptional circumstances for exemption of fee.
- If the prison director considers there are such exceptional circumstances, he or she may:
- Grant a 50% reduction to the prisoner, even if the prisoner's average weekly funds are higher than the monetary threshold of $5.40, if the prison director considers it is appropriate to meet the prisoner's reasonable financial needs.
- Waive the rental fee in full if (a) is not considered by the prison director to be sufficient to meet the prisoner's reasonable financial needs.
- A copy of the completed P.11.Form.04 Consideration for financial hardship assistance with reasons for the decision is to be given to the prisoner.
- If the prisoner application for a reduction (hardship or exceptional circumstances) of the rental fee is denied they must be advised the decision may be reviewed through the prisoner complaints process, or by contacting the Inspector and / or Ombudsman.
P.11.08 Transfer to new cell, unit or to another prison
- If a prisoner is transferred to another facility, or is moving to another cell or unit the prisoner is only required to complete section B of the P.11.Form.02 Request to opt into the television rental scheme.
- If the transfer occurred during the 90 day free rental period the prisoner will not pay the fee for the days that are remaining i.e. if they have had 60 days of the 90 day free rental period they will only have another 30 days before they will be required to pay the rental fee.
P.11.09 Withdrawing from the television rental scheme
- A prisoner can choose to opt out of the television rental scheme at any time. To do this, they must complete the P.11.Form.03 Continuation or withdrawal from the television rental scheme.
- Prior to removing the television from the cell, and in the presence of the prisoner the television must be checked for damage. If the television is damaged and the damage appears to be due to deliberate action by the prisoner, staff must initiate misconduct procedures.
- If there is no damage to the television it is to be returned to secure storage or kept in the cell (if site practice).
- The completed P.11.Form.03 Continuation or withdrawal from the television rental scheme is to be sent to the Trust, who on receipt, will stop any deductions relating to the rental charge from the prisoner trust account the week following the date the form was signed (charged in arrears). The form will be returned to the unit with a stamp confirming receipt by Trust.
- Staff must update IOMS when the prisoner has withdrawn from the television rental scheme and the television has been removed from the cell.
- All forms signed by the prisoner are to be placed in section I of the prisoner file.
P.11.10 Calculating rental charge deductions
- Upon receiving advice from unit staff confirming the prisoner’s continued participation in the scheme the following rental charges will be deducted for all or part of a week. The charge will apply for all or part of the week (the minimum rental charge is one week).
- The following rental charges incurred (i.e. one week in arrears) will apply in the below circumstances:
Circumstances Weekly Rental Charge Prisoners who do not share a cell $ 2.00 Prisoners accommodated in a shared cell $ 1.00 (each) Prisoners assessed as having financial hardship 50% reduction in fee
as determined by prison director
- In cases where prisoners are double bunked, attempts will be made to ensure prisoners who participate in the television rental scheme are accommodated together, and prisoners who do not participate in the television rental scheme are accommodated together i.e. matching like with like.
"Charges will be calculated according to the cell status of the offender on the date deductions are made"
- If the prisoner is subject to a disciplinary penalty of the forfeiture of privileges which specifies the loss of a television following a misconduct hearing, or if the prisoner is without a functioning television for any other reason the rental charge will not be incurred for the days the penalty applies.
- The television rental scheme ends and the charge is no longer deductible when a prisoner:
- is taken off muster, or
- completes the P.11.Form.03 Continuation or withdrawal from the television rental scheme indicating that they wish to withdraw.
- To ensure Trust deduct the correct amount of money from a prisoner’s trust account each week, a P.11.Res.02 Weekly record of prisoner access to television (Unit Weekly data sheet) will be available from Trust. Unit staff will update the information in the P.11.Res.02 Weekly record of prisoner access to television, including any comments that will impact upon payment. Trust will then ensure the correct payment calculation is deducted.
P.11.11 Cancellation of rental scheme
- If a prisoner damages the television, aerial coax cable, or television remote control, these items may (if the prisoner director considers that they present a risk in their present state or has reasonable grounds to believe that the prisoner will further damage the items) be removed. They should not be replaced unless and until the prison director is satisfied that the prisoner will not damage the replacement items.
- The prison director may decide that the television rental scheme will immediately be cancelled and a prisoner’s access to a television denied pending an investigation and or the outcome of a misconduct hearing involving the prisoner for any offence involving a television including:
- Intentional damage
- Contraband being found in the television, or
- a prisoner disobeying a lawful order (e.g. refusing to reduce the volume of the television when directed)
- If the investigation or misconduct hearing determines the prisoner is not at fault (or there is insufficient evidence) a replacement television will be issued to a prisoner, and the television rental scheme resumes.
- If the misconduct is proven and a penalty of loss of privileges is imposed that includes the forfeiture of the use of television, the prisoner is not permitted to re-apply to participate in the scheme until the period of forfeiture has been completed.
- If the misconduct relates to damage to a television and prisoner is ordered to make reparation, the prisoner will not be able to participate in the television rental scheme until reparation is paid in full.
- Advise the Trust office that the offender must be remove from the television rental scheme effective immediately.
- Staff must update IOMS when the television was removed from the cell.
P.11.12 Asset Management Register
- If a manufacturing or other inherent fault is identified by a prisoner and / or staff member, the television is to be removed from the cell and a replacement issued as soon as practicable.
- The asset management register is to be updated by the site register owner.
- The site is to arrange for the televisions to be returned to the supplier for either replacement or repair.