Extracts from the Rules and Regulations 

Relating to Penal Establishments and Gaols 

Made by the Governor in Council on the 17th March 1925


 Daily Ration for a prisoner at hard labour:–

  Male Female
Bread 24oz 16oz
Maize (Oaten Meal) 8oz 6oz
Meat 16oz 12oz
Potatoes 16oz 12oz
Sugar (Ration) 2oz 2oz
Soap 1/2oz 1/2oz
Salt 1/2oz 1/2oz
Tea 1/4oz 1/4oz

Daily Rations for a prisoner in close confinement :- Half the preceding scale.

Daily Rations for a prisoner under remand or committed for trial who has been previously convicted, for a convicted prisoner not at labour or at light work, and for a child (over eight years of age) of a female prisoner:-

  Male Female
Bread 20oz 12oz
Maize (Oaten Meal) 8oz 6oz
Meat 12oz 8oz
Potatoes 12oz 8oz
Salt 1/2oz 1/2oz
Soap 1/2oz 1/2oz
Sugar (Ration) 1oz 1oz

  1. The Inspector-General may order, as an equivalent, 4oz mixed vegetables in lieu of 4oz potatoes, and on two days in each week rice in lieu of the potato ration, in the proportion of 4oz rice to 16oz potatoes.
  2. Daily Rations for a prisoner in a gaol under remand or committed for trial who has not been previously convicted:-

The same as those specified in the last preceding regulation, with the addition of ¼oz. (ration) tea and 1oz (ration) sugar

    1. Daily Rations for a prisoner in solitary confinement:
Bread 16oz
Soap 1/2oz


    1. Daily Rations for a child (Under two years of age) of a female prisoner:-
Bread 4oz
Milk  1 Quart
Soap 1/2oz
Sugar (Ration) 1oz


    1. Daily rations for a child (above two and under eight years of age) of a female prisoner:-
Bread 8oz
Meat 4oz
Milk 1 pint
Soap 1/2oz
Sugar (Ration) 1oz


The foregoing dietary scales are subject to alteration by the Inspector-General.


General Discipline

  •  On Admission  


  1. A Prisoner on admission into a gaol will be required to give up all clothing, money, or other property in his possession.
  2. Each prisoner will be strictly searched and anything found concealed will be forfeited.
  3. The prisoner will then be thoroughly washed and brought before the medical practitioner.


  • Clothing and Property


  1. A prisoner’s private clothing and other property will be in the custody of the officer appointed for that purpose or of the chief warder. It will be placed in store, transferred with the prisoner from gaol to gaol, and returned to him on discharge, or otherwise disposed of according to law.
  2. A prisoner may request to see his own clothes a few days before the day fixed for his discharge. Should the prisoner then find cause for complaint, he should complain first to the officer-in-charge, and then if necessary, to the Inspector-General; but no such complaint will be considered unless made at least 24 hours before the prisoner leaves the gaol. All such complaints are to be made in writing and recorded.
  3. On the discharge of a prisoner, his clothes will be returned to him, unless it has been found necessary to destroy them, in which case he will be provided with clothing.
  4. A prisoner will be supplied with Government clothing. Such clothing will be branded according to instructions issued by the Inspector-General. The prisoner will be held responsible for alterations or injuries and repairs to such clothing.
  5. A kit of Government clothing supplied to a male prisoner shall consist of -
One Skull Cap or Hat
One Jacket
One Vest
Two Pairs of Moleskin Trousers
Two Cotton Shirts
Two Pairs of Socks
Two Towels
One Pair of Boots
One Pair Slippers
One Pair of Braces
One Handkerchief
One Necktie (for winter use)
  1. A prisoner is at all times during the day to appear properly dressed. A male prisoner, when not at work in the open air, is to wear all his usual garments, the jacket is to be unbuttoned, the vest and other articles to be neatly buttoned or tied. On very hot days the jacket need not be worn. A hat is not to be worn in the building. No article of clothing is to be left on the works.
  2. A prisoner brought up as a witness in any Court or before Justices, or who appears as party in a civil suit, matter, or proceeding, or who is brought before a Court or before Justices to answer any further charges or information, shall appear in civilian dress.
  3. All soiled linen and articles of clothing are to be given up, for the purpose of being washed, when asked for, and nothing of the kind is to be washed in a cell without express permission.


  • Routine


  1. A prisoner will rise immediately on the first bell in the morning, make up his bedding as directed, and place it in the appointed position. He is not to put on his jacket before washing.
  2. As soon as the bedding is made up, the cell and furniture are to be thoroughly cleansed.
  3. A prisoner must keep his person, clothing, and cell in the highest state of cleanliness, and the cell furniture and utensils neatly arranged as directed.
  4. A prisoner must not interfere with his bedding until after evening muster, unless specially directed to do so. He must retire to rest as soon as the silence bell rings.
  5. A prisoner is strictly forbidden to enter another’s cell, and a prisoner acting as wardsman shall enter only those cells on the tier or portion of the tier allotted to him as wardsman.
  6. A prisoner when in his cell requiring assistance, or having anything to communicate, may knock or ring for the officer on duty, to whom he must state the reason of the summons. All conversation not strictly necessary must be avoided.
  7. At musters, prisoners will fall in in two ranks and take up the position of “Stand-at-ease” and remain thus until called to “Attention”.
  8. A prisoner is not to leave the ranks at muster, or his place of work, without permission of the officer-in-charge.
  9. Strict silence must be preserved at all musters, meals, in the dormitories and cells at night, during solitary confinement, and while marching to and from places of labour.
  10. A prisoner must promptly obey all orders from officers. Though he should consider himself aggrieved by such order, he must nevertheless obey, and afterwards complain to the officer-in-charge, or to the Inspector-General.
  11. A prisoner dissatisfied with the quantity or quality of his rations should complain as soon as the meal has been given to him. No rations are to be taken out of the mess-room or cell. Food refuse is not to be thrown or left on the tables or floors, but is to be put into a plate or dish provided for that purpose.
  12. A prisoner desiring to see the Inspector-General, Visiting Justice, Officer-in-charge, or Chaplain, must apply to the officer of his division. Should any prisoner urgently require to speak to the officer-in-charge, immediate application may be made to the nearest officer. A prisoner is warned against making frivolous or groundless complaints.
  13. A prisoner must bathe and put on clean clothing when directed.
  14. A prisoner is to be allowed artificial light in the cell from five minutes before sunset until 8.30pm. A sunset table for the year is to be placed in a conspicuous position for reference.


  • Offences

 Offences include:

Improper language
False statements, verbal or in writing
Smoking without authority
Trafficking or attempting to traffic, with our without consideration
Damaging, defacing, or careless or improper use of Government property
Idling during labour hours
Altering bodily marks
Setting alight inflammable articles without authority
Possession of prohibited articles
Making unnecessary noise
Stopping ventilation
Writing unauthorised letters


In addition to above specified offences, any other act of misconduct or any breach of the regulations will be an offence.

  • Hair Cutting, Shaving


  1. If and when considering necessary by the gaoler the hair on the head and face of a male prisoner whose sentence does not exceed three months shall be cut. The hair of a prisoner under a longer sentence is to be cut close, and his whiskers shaved off or closely clipped, and this must be repeated as often as may be necessary until the prisoner is within three months of discharge, when the hair on the head and face may be permitted to grow to a moderate length preparatory to his release from confinement.
  2. Close cropping of the hair or shaving may be dispensed with on the recommendation of the medical officer with the approval of the Inspector-General.


  • Separation of Prisoners


  1. In all cases, where practicable, each prisoner shall occupy a cell by himself. If necessary, not fewer than three may be located in one cell, and each shall have a separate bed.
  2. A prisoner classified “Special” or “Restraint” shall be kept separate, but may work in association with prisoners of his own class.
  3. A prisoner convicted for the first time shall be kept apart from other prisoners, unless otherwise ordered by the Inspector-General, for any period of his imprisonment not exceeding six months.
  4. A prisoner who has been convicted more than once shall be subject to separate treatment as ordered by the Inspector-General.
  5. A prisoner undergoing punishment for any prison offence, or whose removal may be considered necessary, may be placed under separate treatment or removed to any other part of the prison by the gaoler, subject to endorsement by the Inspector-General.
  6. A prisoner under separate treatment, solitary confinement, or close confinement shall receive exercise in the open air for at least two hours daily.


  • Employment of Prisoners and Hours of Labour


  1. Each prisoner able to work shall be employed as the gaoler, with the approval of the Inspector-General, appoints.
  2. The hours of labour shall, as far as practicable average not less than eight working hours per day during the whole year, exclusive of the time allowed for meals.
  3. A prisoner at work is to be attentive and diligent in performing whatever description of labour may be assigned to him. Records will be kept of the diligence and conduct of each prisoner. Upon this record mainly will depend the termination of his imprisonment.
  4. Conversation at labour, except that necessary for the due performance of work, is prohibited.


  • Prisoners Earnings and Gratuities.


  1. A prisoner may earn wages from 1d. to 6d. per day, according to the value of the work performed in relation to the task prescribed.
  2. The wages may be earned on the following conditions:- For an increase of work per day to the extent of one-sixth, 1d.; one-third, 2d.; one-half, 3d.; two-thirds, 4d.; four-fifths, 5d.; and double the present out-put, 6d.
  3. The wage will be determined by the overseer or other officer-in-charge of the prisoner, in accordance with the quantity and quality of the work performed
  4. A prisoner employed otherwise than at an industry may be eligible for wages if the nature of the work performed by him merits payment. (A) A prisoner employed as Instructor or Assistant instructor to a group of at least six prisoners may be paid a wage of from seven pence (7d) to one shilling (1/-) per day at the discretion of the Inspector-general.
  5. An account of the earnings of each prisoner and of the disbursements on his behalf shall be kept in each prison, and the balance remaining to his credit shall be paid to him on release. No money actually earned shall be forfeited except for absconding, attempting to abscond, or some indictable offence, and, except in the event of a prisoner wilfully destroying or damaging any Government property, when a deduction for the value of the damage may be made, provided such deduction receive the sanction of the Inspector-General.
  6. Any prisoner confined in a gaol entitled to discharge and destitute of funds may be permitted to remain and labour in such gaol for any period not exceeding sixteen working days after the day on which he is entitled to liberation. On discharge he may be paid for each such working day’s labour a sum not exceeding 2s. 6d., less, if necessary, the fare by rail or otherwise to his place of destination.
  7. Each prisoner so remaining shall be subject to the rules and regulations and discipline in operation in such gaol, and for any breach of the rules, regulations, or discipline may be summarily ejected from the gaol and forfeit any sum earned.
  8. Each prisoner desirous of being permitted to remain as aforesaid shall sign a document in the following form:-

I hereby request permission to remain and work at the gaol at……………………….for a period of……………………days, and agree to abide by all the rules, regulations, orders, and customs now in operation there, and to waive all right of action for detention or otherwise.


Dated this……………..day of………….19


(Witness)……………………………………………. (Signature)

  1. A prisoner who has funds at his disposal or friends to assist him is not to be granted a gratuity.
  2. Good conduct and industry in gaol are to be indispensable conditions for the granting of a gratuity.
  3. Prisoners may receive gratuities at the discretion of the Inspector-General or the Governor, who will inquire into the merits of each case, but on no account must the maximum amount of the scale be exceeded by the Governor. In very special circumstances the Inspector-General may exceed the scale to the extent of 50 per cent.:-
Period of Sentence 1st Offence     2nd Offence     3rd Offence    
  P. S. D. P. S. D. P. S. D.
1 month not exceeding 3 months 0 5 0 0 4 0 0 3 0
Over 3 months not exceeding 6 months 0 10 0 0 7 0 0 5 0
Over 6 months not exceeding 12 months 1 0 0 0 15 0 0 10 0
Over 12 months not exceeding 24 months 1 10 0 1 0 0 0 15 0
Over 24 months 2 0 0 1 10 0 1 0 0


  1. No prisoner is to petition the Executive Government in respect to his conviction unless he can adduce some material and well-supported fact in his favour which he was unable to bring forward at his trial, or unless he can advance good and sufficient reasons for special consideration.
  2. A prisoner having once petitioned is not again to petition unless some new matter having an important bearing on his case has been revealed subsequently to the decision on his former application.


  • Termination and Remission of Sentences


  1. Remission of sentences shall be subject to good conduct and industry throughout the whole period of the sentence, and will be granted by the Inspector-General to a prisoner on the following conditions:-
  2. Under a sentence amounting to six months and less than two years, when he has completed seven-eighths of his sentence.
  3. Under a sentence amounting to two years and less than three years, when he has completed five-sixths of his sentence. Provided, however, that the term of imprisonment shall be increased by the term of all punishments for prison offences and by the time during which the prisoner has been absent from hard labour. In any case of special industry with good conduct, the Inspector-General may increase the remission to one-sixth of the sentence when the sentence is two years and less than three years.
  4. Under a sentence of three years and upwards when he has completed not less than three-fourths of his sentence.
  5. A prisoner unable but willing to perform hard labour, or who is under medical treatment in the hospital, will receive remission according to the circumstances of his case.
  6. Where a prisoner is under these rules and regulations entitled to have portion of his current sentence of imprisonment remitted, and such current sentence is for an offence committed by such prisoner whilst at large during the remitted portion of a previous sentence, an amount of time equal to the remitted of such previous sentence shall be deducted from the amount of time to be remitted from the current sentence. If the remitted portion of such previous sentence is greater than the amount of time to be remitted from the current sentence, then the prisoner shall not be entitled to have any portion of the current sentence remitted: Provided that in cases of exceptional good conduct and industry the Inspector-General may except any prisoner wholly or partly from the operation of this regulation.
  7. Where a prisoner has been liberated on bond pursuant to the provisions of section 564 of the crimes Act 1915, and has been returned to prison in pursuance of the provisions of section 567 of that Act for a breach of his bond, he will not receive any remission of his sentence.
  8. The sentences or prisoners commuted to imprisonment for life shall be considered as equal in duration to the expectation of life of each prisoner at the time of conviction according to the following table:-
Age Male Female Age Male Female
20 44.737 47.521 40 28.557 31.473
21 43.902 46.676 41 27.788 30.697
22 43.072 45.838 42 27.025 29.920
23 42.245 45.007 43 26.268 29.145
24 41.420 44.180 44 25.520 28.368
25 40.599 43.360 45 24.778 27.247
26 39.779 42.545 46 24.044 26.810
27 38.962 41.733 47 23.316 26.029
28 38.147 40.927 48 22.594 25.247
29 37.333 40.126 49 21.876 24.467
30 36.520 39.327 50 21.163 23.688
31 35.707 38.530 51 20.456 22.912
32 34.898 37.736 52 19.752 22.138
33 34.092 36.944 53 19.053 21.369
34 33.288 36.156 54 18.358 20.605
35 32.486 35.371 55 17.670 19.847
36 31.690 34.588 56 16.987 19.097
37 30.898 33.807 57 16.312 18.355
38 30.112 33.028 58 15.646 17.623
39 29.331 32.250 59 14.992 16.902
  1. All prisoners under such commuted sentences shall be dealt with under such of these rules and regulations as relate to remission of sentences, with a limitation that any prisoner whose conduct has been uniformly good may be liberated when he has actually served twenty years’ imprisonment.


  • Prisoners’ Correspondence


  1. A prisoner is permitted to write and receive one letter monthly
  2. A prisoner desirous of writing must make application to the officer-in-charge of his division at the appointed time
  3. Each letter written and received must be perused by an officer detailed for that purpose. Any withheld shall be submitted to the Inspector-General.
  4. All letters received are to be returned within 48 hours to the officer-in-charge of the division to be retained until the prisoners’ discharge, or destroyed, as the prisoner may desire.
  5. A prisoner will not be allowed to write to another prisoner without permission from the Inspector-General.
  6. Within one month of discharge a prisoner may write letters to make arrangements for employment.
  7. At Christmas a “Special” division prisoner will be allowed to receive two extra letters, two photographs, and two cards. Any other prisoner, one extra letter, one photograph, and one card.
  8. A prisoner must comply strictly with the conditions set out in the letter paper supplied, otherwise the privilege of letter writing will be withdrawn.
  9. A record will be kept of the number of letters posted for each prisoner, and the amount of money expended in postage will be deducted from his earnings.


  • Visits to Prisoners


  1. A prisoner will be allowed visits on the following conditions:-
  2. Immediately after conviction.
  3. At intervals of at least one month from any previous visit.
  4. The duration of the visit shall be twenty minutes.
  5. The visit shall take place only in the presence of an officer
  6. A prisoner may write a letter and receive a reply in lieu of a visit.
  7. A prisoner shall have the option of refusing to see a visitor. 
  8. Any person who has served a sentence in gaol or is of reputed bad character shall not be admitted as a visitor without the presence of the Inspector-General.
  9. Members of the legal profession may see in private clients on remand or awaiting trial. A convicted prisoner can be seen only on an order of the Inspector-General and in the presence of an officer.
  10. A prisoner will not be permitted to sign, deliver, or receive any document without the sanction of the Inspector-General.
  11. The gaoler may demand the name and address of any visitor, and, if he deem necessary, he may refuse such visitor admission unless such visitor submit to be searched. Any such happening shall be reported forthwith in writing to the Inspector-General, whose decision shall be final. 
  12. If any visitor misbehave, the gaoler may compel him to leave the gaol. He shall report the circumstances forthwith to the Inspector-General, whose decision shall be final.


  • Searching of Prisoners

  1. A prisoner will be searched on reception and immediately before discharge, and in such manner, and as often, and at any time or place, as may be deemed necessary.
  2. A prisoner’s cell will be searched immediately before his lodged therein, and at any other time as may be deemed necessary.
  3. A prisoner, whether on bail or on remand, shall the thoroughly searched before being placed in the dock, and, if removed, shall again be searched before being returned to the dock.


  • Religious instruction and Divine Service


  1. The religious denominations recognized in gaols are:- Church of England, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist, and Hebrew.
  2. A prisoner, on admission into gaol, will be entered under the religious denomination he selects, and will sign a “Religion Ticket” to that effect. He will be required to attend the service of his denomination.
  3. A prisoner will not be allowed to change from one denomination to another unless the Inspector–General is satisfied that there is no improper motive for such change.
  4. A prisoner who objects to attending the services of any of the denominations named will remain in his cell during the period of the service, if there be more than one service, during the period of the first service
  5. A prisoner may at all proper times receive spiritual consultation according to the faith he professes, and as he desires to have administered to him by his chaplain, under restrictions imposed by the Inspector-General to guard against the introduction of improper persons and prevent improper communications
  6. A prisoner wishing to see the representative of the Salvation Army may do so on application to the chief warder of his division.


  • Photographs, Finger Prints and Descriptions of Prisoners


  1. On his admission into gaol, and at any other time deemed necessary, each prisoner shall be photographed and have his finger prints taken.
  2. On his admission into gaol, and at any other time deemed necessary, each prisoner shall have recorded his name, age, height, weight, a description of his features, marks, general appearance, and such other particulars as may be deemed necessary.

  • Rules and Regulations Applicable only to Prisoners on Admission into the Gaol Awaiting Trial or not Convicted of a Crime


  1. Every article on a prisoner’s person on admission into any gaol shall be taken, and an inventory made of all money and other valuable effects which the prisoner may have, or which may from time to time be sent to the gaol, shall be entered in a book and given to the prisoner on discharge, except where it is ascertained to belong to some other person, or is ordered to be forfeited to the Crown; and in the event of removal to some other place of confinement, such money or other property shall be forwarded along with the prisoner.
  2. A prisoner shall, upon first admission into any gaol, be thoroughly washed and cleansed, and where practicable examined by the medical officer. A prisoner awaiting trial shall not be required to take a bath non reception if, on the application of the prisoner, the gaoler shall decide it is unnecessary or the medical officer shall state it is unadvisable.
  3. A prisoner before trial or not convicted of a crime may, if he desires, wear the gaol clothing; and he will be required to do so if his own clothes are insufficient or unfit for use, or necessary to be preserved for the purpose of justice.
  4. A prisoner awaiting trial or not convicted of a crime may send and receive letters at reasonable times, provided that the gaoler may withhold any letters to or from such prisoner, and forward them to the Inspector-General for his decision. The officer-in-charge shall read all letters sent or received by a prisoner.
  5. A prisoner, subject to this section of the rules and regulations, shall not be compelled to have his hair cut, nor, if a male and usually wearing a bread, to shave, except on account of vermin or dirt, or when the medical officer deems it necessary on the grounds of health and cleanliness. In such cases the hair shall not be cut closer than may be necessary for the purpose of health and cleanliness.
  6. Each prisoner shall make his own bed. Every morning he shall sweep and clean cells, wards, and yards, and clean and neatly arrange all utensils and furniture appropriated to his use unless otherwise ordered.
  7. A prisoner who has the privilege of maintaining himself must do so entirely or not at all. Such maintenance is to consist of a sufficient quantity of wholesome food and clothing, and shall be subject to such restrictions as may be necessary to restrain extravagance or improper indulgence while in gaol; to prevent the admission or spirituous liquors, wine, or fermented liquors; or the introduction of any improper article or instrument to facilitate escape. Any food, clothing, or other necessaries so procured may be paid for out of funds belonging to the prisoner and in the hands of the gaoler.
  8. No part of such clothing, food, or other necessaries shall be sold or transferred to any other prisoner, and any prisoner transgressing this regulation shall be prevented from obtaining further supplies for such time as the gaoler may think proper.
  9. No money shall be stopped from the funds belonging to any prisoner for maintenance by the State unless legally ordered to be so supplied.
  10. The relatives, friends, or legal advisers of a prisoner remanded for re-examination or committed for trial may see him at reasonable hours twice a week at the discretion of the gaoler, or oftener by orders from either the committing magistrate, the sheriff, the inspector-General, or a visiting justice, unless the gaoler has a sufficient reason for not admitting such relative, friend, or legal adviser. In such case, an intimation of the reason for not allowing the interview must be forwarded to the Inspector-General.
  11. Any relative, friend, or legal advisor of a prisoner who may be detained in default of finding sureties to keep the peace, or to be of good behaviour, or on affiliation orders, or for contempt of court, or on maintenance orders, or detained for safe custody only, may see him at reasonable hours once a week at the discretion of the gaoler.


  • Sheriff’s Debtors


  1. All other rules and regulations relating to Penal Establishments and Gaols shall apply to Sheriff’s debtors except where such rules and regulations are inconsistent with the remainder of this regulation.
  2. A debtor will be required to rise on the gaol bell ringing in the morning, and to have his bedding neatly folded up and be in readiness to leave his dormitory for the day room or airing yard within half an hour of that time.
  3. Visitors will be permitted to see a debtor daily in his day room or in the airing yard from 10am until 4pm., except on Sundays, Good Friday, and Christmas Day, and other holidays, when they will be admitted from 2 to 4pm only. Any visitor at other times will only be admitted by a special order from the sheriff.
  4. Not more than a limited number of friends, say two or three, will be allowed to visit a debtor on the same day; but if more than three desire to do so they must get an order from the Sheriff or the gaoler, and such order will be issued only on some special and good reason being shown.
  5. A debtor and any visitor will at all times be required to conduct themselves in a quiet, orderly, and respectful manner towards the officers of the gaol, and to each other; and any breaches of this rule will subject the offender, if a visitor, to be denied admission on any further occasion, and, if a debtor, he may be brought before the visiting justice, who may, on conviction, deprive the offender of the privilege of seeing his friends or of supplying himself with provisions to such time as visiting justice may think proper; and for any more serious offences against the disturbance or insubordination or for any misconduct or assault either against an officer or fellow debtor or any other person or for any wanton injury to the gaol or to any part of the furniture or other Government property therein, such visiting justice may order that any debtor guilty of any such offence shall be deprived of all the privileges with regard to visitors and supply of food he would otherwise be entitled to under these regulations, and may order the offender to be removed from the debtors’ ward or room and confined in a cell on bread and water for any period not exceeding 30 days.
  6. A debtor shall be allowed the use, in moderation, of tobacco, and, on the recommendation of the medical officer, of spirituous liquors, wine, or fermented liquors, the same to be supplied at the cost of the person requiring it; he shall also be allowed the privilege of having his own food supplied to him, provided it is brought to the goal in a cooked state, but no cooking will be allowed in the wards or rooms, and the privilege will be subject to such restrictions as the Sheriff or gaoler may think fit to impose, to prevent the introduction of any forbidden article, or the excessive supply of spirituous liquors, wine, fermented liquors, or tobacco. A debtor receiving the gaol rations will not be allowed to purchase or receive any additional refreshments, but must confine himself solely to the rations supplied by the Government.
  7. The wearing apparel of any debtor shall, on admission to the goal, by fumigated and purified if the gaoler considers it necessary, and afterwards returned to him.
  8. A debtor will be locked up for the night at the ordinary locking-up hour of the gaol.
  9. Light will be kept burning until 9pm., after which no other light will be allowed.

  • Health of Prisoners


  1. The Inspector-General may direct that all prisoners detained in any gaols of the State shall be vaccinated whenever, in the opinion of the health authorities, this course is necessary as a caution against an epidemic of disease or plague, and it shall be the duty of the medical officers of the gaols to carry out the work of vaccination or inoculation.
  2. A prisoner’s child twelve months old is to be weaned, taken from the mother and removed from the prison, or placed in charge of persons appointed for the purpose, except in the case of a child under medical treatment, when, should it be deemed necessary for its health, it may be allowed to remain with the mother.


  • Female Prisoners


  1. A female prisoner is required to keep her hair tidy and well brushed or combed back. The hair of a female prisoner may be cut on account of vermin or dirt, or when the medical officer deems it requisite on the ground of health.
  2. A female prisoner is to wear a one-piece grey wincey dress in winter and a Scotch twill dress in summer, with a white apron, and a washing hat or bonnet. A prisoner convicted for the first time is to wear a grey wincey dress with stripe. All underclothing and nightdresses are to be of unbleached calico, with flannel petticoats and singlets when needed. 
  3. A female prisoner will be allowed to retain her wedding ring and such portions of her private clothing as the principle female officer may consider necessary.


  • Library


  1. A prisoner may obtain a book of fiction once a week, a magazine and a non-fiction book each alternate week.
  2. A prisoner will return all books, except devotional books, within seven days from the date of issue, though this period may be extended on application to the librarian if the book is available. Devotional books will be retained by a prisoner to whom they are issued until discharge. 
  3. A prisoner is prohibited from exchanging books with other prisoners. 
  4. A prisoner will be held responsible for the preservation of all books issued to him. On receipt he must examine and point out all defects. 
  5. A prisoner must return to the librarian all books issued to him. 
  6. Exceptions to the above will obtain in the following cases:-
    A prisoner awaiting trial may be permitted to change library books oftener than once a week
  7. A prisoner not convicted of crime may also be permitted to change books oftener than once a week.
  8. A prisoner whose sentence does not exceed seven days will not be allowed to obtain books from the library.
  9. Books selected for special purposes from the religious library by the chaplains are to be issued to the prisoners for whom they were selected as soon as possible.
  10. Books are not to be issued to prisoners who damage or deface them, or are likely to do so.


Each prisoner will be supplied with the devotional books of his denomination:-

    1. Episcopalians – Bible, Prayer Book, and Hymn Book.
    2. Roman Catholics – Bible and Prayer Book.
    3. Presbyterians and Methodists - Bible and Hymn Book.


These books are to be retained by the prisoner to whom issued until he leaves the establishment.

  1. A prisoner awarded solitary confinement, in addition to devotional books, is to be supplied with a book selected by the chaplain.
  2. A prisoner placed in separate confinement for disciplinary purposes will be supplied with special books of distinctly moral character. A supply of such books is to be stored in the office of the chief or senior warder.

Any Prisoner who desire to apply for legal aid for defence, shall do so on the forms provided for that purpose.


Justice Act 1915


No 2831

An Act to provide the Defence of Accused Persons who are without Adequate Means

12th October 1916


Be it enacted by the King’s Most Excellent Majesty by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Council and the Legislative Assembly of Victoria in this present Parliament assembled and by the authority of the same as follows (that is to say) :-

  1. This Act may be cited as the Poor prisoners Defence Act 1916. 
  2. (1) Any person committed for trial for an indictable offence against the laws of Victoria may at any time within fourteen days after committal and before the jury is sworn apply in writing in the prescribed form to a Judge of the Supreme Court or to a chairman of a court of general sessions or to a police magistrate for legal aid for his defence.

(2) Every such application shall be accompanied by a statutory declaration verifying the facts stated in the application.


(3) The Judge or chairman or police magistrate (as the case may be) if he is of opinion on the facts brought before him as aforesaid or otherwise that –


                (a) such person is without adequate means to provide legal aid for himself; and


                (b) it is desirable in the interests of justice that such legal aid should be supplied,


Shall certify according to the Attorney-General who may thereupon if he thinks fit cause arrangements to be made for the defence of the accused person and the payment of the expenses of all material witnesses.

    1. (1) The Governor in Council may make regulations for or with respect to –


  1. The communication of the provisions of this Act to persons committed for trial;
  2. Any forms to be used under this Act; and 
  3. Generally, all matters necessary or convenient for carrying into effect the provisions of this Act.

(2) All such regulations shall be published in the Government Gazette and shall be laid before both houses of Parliament within fourteen days after the making thereof if Parliament is then sitting, and if Parliament is not then sitting within fourteen days after the next meeting of Parliament.



Poor Prisoners Defence Act 1916




At the Executive Council Chamber, Melbourne, the eleventh day of December, 1916




His Excellency the Governor of Victoria


Sir A.J. Peacock                                 Mr. McLeod


Mr. Lawson                                        Mr Adamson


Under and by virtue of the powers and authorities conferred by the Poor Prisoners Defence Act 1916 (No 2831), I, the Governor in Council, do hereby make the following regulations (that is to say):-

  1. Every person who desires to apply for legal aid for his defence shall do so in the form set forth in the First Schedule hereto.
  2. The certificate that legal aid should be supplied shall be in the form set forth in the Second Schedule hereto.




Application for Legal Aid.


I,                             , having been committed for trial for an indictable offence against the laws of Victoria, to wit,                      , and having been directed to be tried for such offence at the Supreme Court in its criminal jurisdiction, or the Court of General Sessions of the Peace, at                             , on the day of                                   , 19         , hereby apply for legal aid for my defence in the following grounds:-

    • Here set out the facts.

Dated the                            day of                                   , 19








Certificate that legal Aid should be supplied.






Nature of Offence


In pursuance of the Poor Prisoners Defence Act 1916, the above-named                                                  having applied for legal aid for his defence, I certify that I am of opinion that he is without adequate means to provide legal aid for himself, and that it is desirable in the interests of justice that such legal aid should be supplied.


Dated at                               the                         day of                    , 19         .


Judge of the Supreme Court.


Chairman of a court of General Sessions or Police Magistrate.


The Honourable


                The Attorney-general for the state of Victoria


And the Honourable Harry Sutherland Wightman Lawson, his Majesty’s Attorney-General and Solicitor-General for the State of Victoria, shall give the necessary directions herein accordingly.




Clerk of the Executive Council.

Sourced from the Department of Justice and Regulation