Visitor information

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HM Prison Barwon 






Prisoner accommodation 

HM Prison Barwon is a maximum security prison located 6 km 

north-west of Lara, 20 km from the centre of Geelong and 

about 70 km from Melbourne.  It is the state of Victoria's 

major maximum-security prison for male prisoners.  It is one 

of thirteen prisons in the state managed by Corrections 

Victoria, part of the Department of Justice. 


HM Prison Barwon accommodates approximately 417 male 

prisoners.  The prison is divided into four accommodation 

areas.  Separating prisoners into manageable areas allows for 

the effective supervision, security and safety of the prison, and 

also enables the appropriate provision of prisoner services to 

be provided according to various needs. 


Visits - Personal 

There are three types of visits:  


personal contact, 


personal non-contact, and 


professional visits   

The type of visit permitted is dependent on a prisoner’s 

placement, eligibility and the visit status of a visitor. 



Visitors, who are identified as requiring a 

Governors letter in order to visit at Barwon 

prison, must ensure that they bring the 

authorisation letter upon each visit. The letter 

must be presented during the course of the 

screening process. The letter must also have a 

Barwon Prison letterhead. If you require a 

letter, please ask staff to assist you with this 



Diosma, Cassia, Eucalypt, Illawarra: 


Mainstream prisoners that are eligible to participate in the 

contact visit program may receive either one contact visit per 

week or, one box visit per week (depending on the status of 

the visitor or prisoner).  Contact visits are for duration of two 

hours on either Saturday or Sunday.  Contact visit times are 

between the hours of 8:15am – 3.30pm. Contact visits must 

commence prior to 2:45pm and conclude by 3.30pm 

Prisoners may have three (3) adults and four (4) children 

participate on a contact visit.    



Diosma, Cassia, Eucalypt, Illawarra: 


Mainstream that are not eligible to participate in the contact 

visit program may receive one box visit per week for the 

duration of one hour, these visits must be booked by the 

Prisoner.    Box visits may take place on Friday, Saturday, 

Sunday or Monday.  Box visits are for 1 hour duration which 

will be strictly adhered to. Commencement times for 

Mainstream box visits are 8.15, 9.30, 10.45, 12.00, 13.15, 

14.30, Please arrive to begin your visit at the appointment 

time.   Box visits on Friday or Monday must commence prior to 

2.45pm and conclude by 3:30pm.   


Prisoners may have three (3) adults and four (4) children 

participate on a box visit.    




Hoya Unit 


Protection prisoners that are eligible to participate in the 

contact visit program may receive either one contact visit per 

week or, one box visit per week (depending on the status of 

the visitor or prisoner).   

Contact visits are for duration of two hours on either Saturday 

or Sunday.  Contact visit times are between the hours of 

8:15am – 3.30pm, contact visits must commence prior to 

2:45pm and conclude by 3.30pm 

Contact visits that take place in the Hoya Protection 

Unit on Saturdays between 8:15am – 12 noon will be 

restricted to adult visitors only. 

A.Side : Visits are from 12:30 to 15:30  DO NOT MIX   

With main stream prisoners 

Box visit times are between the hours of 8:15am – 3.30pm on 

Saturday and Sunday and between the hours of 8:15am – 

3.30pm on Friday and Monday.  Box visits on Friday or Monday 

must commence prior to 2.45pm and conclude by 3:30pm.   


Prisoners may have three (3) adults and four (4) children 

participate on a contact visit.    


Grevillea Unit



Protection prisoners that are eligible to participate in the 

contact visit program may receive either one contact visit per 

week or, one box visit per week (depending on the status of 

the visitor or prisoner).   

Contact visits are for duration of two hours on either Saturday 

or Sunday.  Contact visit times are between the hours of 

8:15am – 3.30pm, contact visits must commence prior to 

2:45pm and conclude by 3.30pm 

Contact visits that take place in the Grevillea 

Protection Unit on Saturdays between 8:15am – 3:30 

will be restricted to adult visitors only (No children 


Box visit times are between the hours of 8:15am – 3.30pm on 

Saturday and Sunday and between the hours of 11:45am – 

3:00pm on Monday.  Box visits on Monday must commence 

prior to 2:15pm and conclude by 3:00pm and must be booked 

a minimum of 24 hours in advance by the Prisoner.   


Prisoners may have three (3) adults and four (4) children 

participate on a contact visit.    


Acacia Unit 


Prisoners accommodated in the Acacia Unit are permitted one 

box visit per week.  In addition to the weekly box visit, one 

special contact visit may take place each month between 

prisoners and their natural children.  Personal visits for the 

Acacia Unit may take place on Friday, Saturday, Sunday or 

Monday.  Visit times are between the hours of 8:15am – 

3.30pm, visits must commence prior to 2.15pm and conclude 

by 3:30pm.  

All visits for the Acacia Unit must be pre-


  Visitors who wish to visit but do not have a booking 

cannot be guaranteed a visit. The visit will be subject to staff 

and room availability. 


Prisoners may have three (3) adults and four (4) children 

participate on a box visit in the Acacia Unit.    









Banksia Unit  


Prisoners accommodated in the Banksia Unit are permitted one 

box visit per week.  Personal visits for the Banksia Unit may 

take place on Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday.  Visit times 

are between the hours of 8:15am – 3.30pm, visits must 

commence prior to 2.15pm and conclude by 3:30pm

. All 

visits for the Banksia Unit must be pre-booked.


who wish to visit but do not have a booking cannot be 

guaranteed a visit. The visit will be subject to staff and room 



Prisoners may have three (3) adults and four (4) children 

participate on a box visit for prisoners accommodated in the 

Banksia Unit.    


Melaleuca Unit 




Prisoners accommodated in the Melaleuca Unit are permitted 

one box visit per week.  Box visits for the Melaleuca Unit may 

take place on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and 

Sunday. In addition to weekly box visits the prisoners may 

have one special contact visit per month if approved. Contact 

visits take place on Saturdays and Sundays. Visit times are 

between the hours of 8:15am – 3.30pm, visitors will not be 

processed after 2.15pm. 

All visits for the Melaleuca Unit 

must be pre-booked.

  Visitors who wish to visit but do not 

have a booking cannot be guaranteed a visit. The visit will be 

subject to staff and room availability. 


Prisoners may have three (3) adults and four (4) children 

participate on a visit for prisoners accommodated in the 

Melaleuca Unit.    


Visitor Identification Process  


First time visitors to HM Prison Barwon should allow extra time 

before the visit to enable the registration process to be 



Satisfactory identification must be produced by each visitor.  A 

total of 100 points of identification is required to gain access to 

the prison. Anyone who cannot produce satisfactory 

identification will not be permitted to enter the prison.  

Satisfactory identification must be current and be one of the 




Current Drivers Licence, Correctional Services Pass,  

Consulate ID Card, Law Card, Valid Passport, Shooters 

Licence, Key Pass, Police Member I.D 



Sixty Plus Card, Birth Certificate, Australian Citizenship 

Certificate, Marriage Certificate, Defence Department I.D,  

Government Authorised U16. 



(only one of each of these items will be accepted) Medicare 

Card, Social Security Card, Student Card, Credit Card, Bank 

Book, Proof Of Age Card. 













Once identity is established, a photograph will be taken of the 

person’s face as well as their iris (coloured part of the eye). 

This procedure is non-invasive and 100% safe as the image is  

taken photographically. Infra-red technology is not used to 

record the image of your eyes. 



All information is stored and maintained on the prisons internal 

identification system and will make subsequent visits a faster 



Standard of Dress for Visitors 

Visitors are required to ensure that their presentation, 

including clothing and accessories, are of an acceptable 

standard and appropriate to the prison environment.   



following dress items are not permitted





Singlets, Tank tops, midriff, sleeveless or strapless 

tops (applies to male and female visitors) 






Sunglasses – Only transitional prescription glasses 



Hats / caps of any kind 


Revealing/Offensive clothing or jewellery 


On entry to the prison, should the Senior Officer determine 

that the visitors clothing or appearance is not appropriate to 

the prison environment, where possible, alternative clothing 

will be offered to enable the visit to take place. 

Excessive amounts of jewellery or inappropriate jewellery is 

not to be worn into the prison. 


Authorised Items for Visitors


The prison provides 


 secure storage boxes at the 

gatehouse for visitors to store personal items. 



Please refrain from entering the gatehouse 

foyer with large amounts of personal items. 

Large handbags or backpacks are difficult for 

Barwon prison to cater for. 


No food allowed in reception (Gatehouse) 


At the end of the visit, visitors can collect their stored property 

from the gatehouse following the sign out procedure. 


Visitors with babies or young children 

are permitted to 

enter the prison with: 


One baby bottle (containing milk, formula, flavoured 

milk, cordial, juice and ribena) 




One container of purchased, sealed baby food 


One dummy   


Other baby care items such as nappies are provided and 

available in the Visit Centre. 


$40.00 in gold coins is permitted per visit (not per visitor) for 

use in the vending machines located in the visit centres.  


As smoking is not permitted at anytime inside the visit centres, 

visitors are not permitted to enter the prison with cigarettes. 







Facilities for Children  


Children are welcomed and well catered for at Barwon Prison.    

To assist in entertaining children whilst visiting the prison, 

various books, toys and play equipment is available. An adult 

must accompany children under the age of 16.  Parents are 

requested to pack all items back in the appropriate storage 

place at the conclusion of the visit.  If at anytime you require 

assistance, please approach the officer on duty for advice. 



Please note that prams are not permitted into 

or beyond the gatehouse foyer.


Barwon Prison provides prams once visitors have passed 

through the entry procedures at the gatehouse.  Your personal 

pram may be stored at the John Coshall Centre.  



Visits General Rules and Information 

Throughout the visit it is the responsibility of visitors to ensure 

children are well behaved. It is expected that contact between 

prisoners and their visitors be kept at an acceptable level.  

Failure to do this may result in the Governor terminating the 




It is an offence to take any item into or out of the prison 

without the General Manager’s permission.  Any person 

found doing so will be apprehended.  



Any visitor found introducing contraband into a prison will 

be banned from all visits at all prisons for a minimum 

period of 12 months, with the matter also referred to 




Persons entering the prison may be asked to submit to a 

search of their person and their property. 



Prisoner Property  

Barwon Prison will only accept property from visitors registered 

on the valid visitors list.  


All property must be left at the Gatehouse prior to the visit  

A receipt will be issued to each visitor leaving property for 

prisoners recording the following information: 

The item received 

The name of the prisoner 

The prisoners unit 

The name and address of the visitor leaving the 



All prisoners’ property brought into the prison by visitors will 

be searched and delivered to the property store on weekdays 

only. Any property brought in over the weekend will be 

delivered to the property store as soon as is practicable.  All 

property items must be clean; any soiled / dirty items will not 

be accepted. 


Where a prisoner has reached the permitted amount of 

property, additional items may not be accepted. 


Gatehouse security staff will be responsible for the processing 

and distribution of property left at the Gatehouse by registered  

visitors for prisoners in accordance with the following 










4 x underwear (Underwear must not have pockets or 

pouches), thermal long johns and long sleeve 

thermals permitted (for mainstream and protection 

prisoners thermal underwear is only permitted in 

white, for Acacia thermal tops must be red) 




4 x white t-shirts permitted, crew neck without logos, 

collars, pockets or buttons 


4 x pair socks permitted  


4 x singlets permitted (white only)  


2 x reading books permitted (soft cover only for 

Acacia & Melaleuca)  


2 x magazines permitted - excluding: 'R' rated - 

Sexually explicit - military articles - weapons - tattoo 

Publications - drugs - home made bombs - magazines       

that support terrorism. 

Examples of magazines that are not permitted: 










Computer Magazines with Graphics 


War / Military Magazines and 



Weapons Magazines and Publications 


Magazines that contain sexual 



Tattoo magazines 


Zoo Magazine 


Magazines that contain violent material 


2 x newspapers permitted. 


6 x photographs permitted (polaroids excluded) – up 

to  A4  size  only  -  no  frames,  computer  generated 

photos, regardless of how many pictures are on it, 

are accepted as ONE photo. 


Calendars permitted (no explicit sexual content - 

metal spiral binding - metal backing support, 

laminated photos as part of, or attached to the 



Correspondences with stickers are not permitted 


Envelopes left at the gatehouse with a stamp 

attached or enclosed are not permitted 


Legal papers are permitted providing that they can 

be contained in a box measuring 35 cm x 25 cm x 

15cm, unless prior approval has been obtained 


6 x Handkerchiefs permitted 


NO Shorts of any type are permitted. 


NO Runners of any kind are permitted 


Musical cards are not permitted 


Calendar diaries are not permitted 


All cards and correspondence must be free of 

attachments (stickers, glitter, etc). Should there be 

attachments on any envelope or correspondence, 

this mail will be placed within the prisoner’s property 

until the prisoner is released. 








Private Money 


Money can be sent in via the mail for a prisoner by family or 

friends as either a money order or bank cheque made payable to 

the prisoner. 


The prison will only accept money from visitors registered on 

the prisoners’ valid visitors list, approved organisations and/or 

an approved solicitors trust account cheques. A money order 

or bank cheque must be accompanied by the sender’s name 

and address, plus the 'do not detach' stub (money orders 

only), otherwise it will not be credited into the prisoner’s 



Cash monies will be accepted at the gatehouse, visitors that wish 

to leave money at the gatehouse should ensure that this is 

completed prior to the visit commencing.  A prisoner may receive a 

maximum of $140 per calendar month, which includes $50 for 

ISD/STD telephone calls. 



The gatehouse staff does not carry cash for change; 

visitors are required to have the correct monies. 


Telephone Calls 

Prisoners can provide a list of up to ten (10) telephone 

numbers for personal calls. All numbers must be verified for 

appropriateness and acceptability by staff. Phone lists are 

processed as soon as practicable. 


Prisoners are not permitted to take incoming calls, however 

urgent messages can be left at the prison switchboard. 

Prisoners are not permitted to contact the media without 



All prisoners’ private phone calls may be monitored or 

recorded by prison staff. Exempt calls (including legal 

and Ombudsman Victoria calls). 


Prisoner Mail 

Prisoners may write and receive as many letters as they wish.  

Pre-paid envelopes and stamps can be purchased from the 

prison shop at normal postage rates.  


All mail envelopes entering the prison must be free of 

attachments (stickers, glitter, etc). Should there be 

attachments on any envelope, this mail will be placed within 

the prisoner’s property until the prisoner is released. 



Locked Bag 7, Lara, Vic, 3212 



Road, Lara Vic. 3212 

(Located 6 km north-west of Lara, 20 km 

from the centre of Geelong and 

approximately 70 km from Melbourne) 





Concerns and Welfare 

HM Prison Barwon has a Visitors’ Centre located outside the 

Gatehouse.  The Centre is usually open during visit hours.   


Volunteers from Prison Fellowship usually staff the Centre on 

Saturdays and Sundays. 


If you have any concerns about the health or welfare of the 

person you are visiting, please advise a staff member about 

the nature of your concern before leaving the prison.  

Alternatively, you may contact the prison (52 208 222) and ask 

to speak with an Operations Manager or the Officer in Charge 

of the prison. 


Transport and Directions 

Barwon Prison is located on the Bacchus Marsh Road 

approximately six kilometres from the township of Lara.  It is 

60 kilometres from Melbourne and nine kilometres north of the 

Corio Village Shopping Centre.  The prison is sign posted on 

the Geelong-Melbourne Highway and on the Bacchus Marsh 



There is no public transport directly to the prison; however a 

shuttle bus service to and from the North Geelong Railway 

Station is provided by the prison.  The bus is driven by 

volunteers from Prison Fellowship. The service operates on 


, and transports visitors 

between Barwon Prison and the Lara Railway Station at the 

following times: 


Bus meets train at Lara railway station 


9.41am, 10.41am, 11.41am, 12.41pm 


NO service at moment 


Bus leaves Barwon for Lara railway station


12.10pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm, 3.30pm 


NO service at moment



Whilst traveling on the shuttle bus service to and from Barwon 

Prison there are general traveling conditions, which must be 

adhered to by all visitors. If passengers do not respect these 

conditions whilst using this service, they may be asked to exit 

the bus. Please consult with Vacro staff or Corrections Victoria 

staff in relation to these procedures. 



The Victorian Association for the Care and Resettlement of 

Offenders (VACRO) can provide practical and financial services 

assistance to prisoners and their families.  VACRO can be 

contacted at  



 Floor, 116 Hardware Street, Melbourne,  


 1800 049 871


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