W.01 Internal Concealment

The internal concealment of any object causes serious risks to a prisoners health, therefore internal concealment is managed as a health matter. All staff managing a prisoner suspected of internally concealing any item are responsible for supporting the health, wellbeing and dignity of the prisoner at all times.

Throughout these policies the unique roles and responsibilities of custodial and health staff are noted. Where the instruction is applicable to all staff, Corrections staff is used. Corrections staff includes both custodial and health staff, whether employed or contractors.

The Ara Poutama Practice Framework underpins all of our practices and guides our day to day interactions with prisoners.

We demonstrate leadership and are accountable We care for and respect everyone We are unified and focussed in our efforts We are responsive and responsible We develop supportive relationships

The prison director has the authority to direct the segregation of the person under section 60 (1)(a) of the Corrections Act if the health centre manager recommends that segregation is necessary for the purposes of medical oversight. Segregation directions must be reported as per IR.06 Incident Reporting.

The health centre manager and prison director are jointly responsible for ensuring the prisoner receives the health care or treatment they need while they are segregated for the purpose of medical oversight. The health centre manager must ensure any advice (as per regulation 64 (7) CR2005) is provided to the prison director in writing. When the prison director and health centre manager do not agree, the prison director must consult with the regional commissioner and the health centre manager must consult with the regional clinical director for advice.

During a rub down or strip search, Corrections staff only conduct a visual check of the mouth, nose, and ears (and anal and genital areas during a strip search). The visual check can be facilitated by an instrument or device designed to illuminate or magnify.

Under no circumstances are Corrections staff permitted to perform an internal examination or insert any object into any person’s body orifice to determine whether or not an item is internally concealed, or to attempt to recover any concealed item (including if the prisoner requests or provides consent). This does not apply to health procedures where a health need is evident and would normally be within the health practitioners scope of practice outside of the Corrections environment (i.e. cervical smears or obstructions that may cause a risk to health).

A health procedure is any assessment, examination or intervention undertaken by a suitably qualified health practitioner with the consent of the patient. The patient has the right to sufficient information to make a decision to consent or decline to receive any health procedure. A search is not a health procedure and no custodial officer or health practitioner can order or coerce a prisoner to undergo any health procedure.

A health procedure is any assessment, examination or intervention undertaken by a suitably qualified heal practitioner with the consent of the patient.


Collaboration points throughout the custodial and health policies highlight opportunities to work with other teams within the prison to get the best outcome for the prisoner.

The collaboration points are not exhaustive and health and custody staff are advised to access both policies for detailed information on the responsibilities of each group of staff.

Consideration Consideration points highlight where there are other policies that may have a connection or provide specific considerations or guidance to support decision making.
Watch Point Watch Points throughout the policies convey critical information and absolute “must do’s” to the reader.
Eg. Record keeping of observations and health assessment