W.01.01 Managing Internal Concealment

Internal concealment refers to circumstances where a prisoner is suspected of concealing any item or thing inside an orifice on their person (such as mouth, stomach, vaginal or anal areas). This can be by insertion, swallowing or any other means but does not include where a person has an item on their person that becomes evident during a rub down or strip search (such as items between skin folds, pockets or other such places.

When staff suspect a prisoner of internally concealing an unauthorised item, no attempt is to be made to remove the item from the prisoner, regardless of whether the article is visible or only partially concealed.

Custodial staff must consider alternative search methods (scanner / rub down / strip search) as appropriate.

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.

Watch Point

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).

(See W.01.01.Res.01 Managing Internal Concealment flow diagram.)