A prisoner’s money is held in a A bank account in which money is held on behalf another person, not for the use of the account holder. For example, a lawyer’s trust account holds clients’ money. It is regulated by strict accounting rules that safeguard the clients’ interests. For example, a trustee may hold a child’s inheritance for them until they turn 18. and managed by the prison’s management. A prisoner’s account holds the money they earn in prison and any money given to them by family or friends.
Family and friends may bring money to the prison when they visit, or post a cheque or money order to the prison; this is then deposited into the prisoner’s account by prison management.
The maximum amount of ‘private money’ a prisoner can receive is $140 per calendar month. However, prison management may allow a prisoner to receive additional private money to pay for long-distance phone calls to family and friends. There is no limit to the amount of money that can be held in a prisoner’s account.
Sentenced prisoners may be directed to work in a prison industry (s 84H Corrections A written law made by parliament. Also called an ‘Act of parliament’, ‘statute’ or legislation.). Remand prisoners are not required to work, but they may choose to if work is available.
The range of occupations available varies from prison to prison. They include employment in a range of prison industry programs, gardening, farming, cleaning prison areas and clerical work.
Legal transfer of some right to use property. For example, putting a lease over farmland into another person’s name, or giving another person copyright in a song you have written. to employment is conducted by prison-based review and assessment committees, which consider a range of factors, including a prisoner’s work skills, previous employment and Money or property promised to be handed over as a guarantee for repayment of a loan, or as a guarantee that a defendant will meet their bail conditions. needs. A prisoner may request a new occupation at any time.
The Corrections Regulations state that a prisoner must be paid for work performed as the result of assignment to that work (reg 43). Prisoners also receive payment for participating in education and approved programs. The rate of payment varies according to the type of work undertaken, complexity of the work, skills required, prisoner’s ability and degree of responsibility, and the hours worked.
A prisoner’s earnings can be used to buy items from the prison canteen or to build savings, which are paid to the prisoner when they are released.
Some of the money earned by prisoners is withheld as compulsory savings that are made available to the prisoner when they are released. This is to help the prisoner with the The amount charged by a lawyer for legal work. Lawyers can only charge the amount agreed with the client in a costs agreement or the amount stated by a court in its rules. The party who loses a case usually has to pay all their own costs plus most of the costs reasonably incurred by the other side. See also indemnity costs. related to their reintegration into the community. The amount withheld is 20 per cent of the prisoner’s earnings.
Under the Corrections Regulations, prison management can deduct money from a prisoner’s account for certain reasons. For example, money can be deducted from a prisoner’s account to cover the cost of replacing or repairing prison property that has been wilfully damaged or lost by the prisoner. Also, if a prisoner is fined (see ‘Prisoner offences’, above), the fine amount is withdrawn from the prisoner’s account.
If a prisoner cannot be placed in employment due to a lack of available positions, they receive a minimum allowance. Remand prisoners also receive a minimum allowance.
A prison manager may dismiss a prisoner who in the prison manager’s opinion is not performing satisfactorily, or is disruptive to the program (reg 44).
Prisoners who refuse to work, or who are dismissed from work due to poor performance, or who have lost their privileges, receive no payment from Corrections Victoria.
Occupational health and safety, workers’ compensation and WorkSafe do not apply to prisoners. Prisoners are not considered employees as there is no An agreement that the law will enforce. of employment.
However, if a prisoner is injured due to unsafe conditions, or due to the prison’s An act that breaches a duty to take reasonable care and results in loss or damage to another person. See also tort., the matter can be dealt with by a claim under (1) The system of law developed by the English courts through precedent and adopted in ‘common law countries’ in the British Commonwealth (as opposed to Roman law (civil law) or ecclesiastical law). (2) The case law made by judges in that system. (3) Case law that is not part of the law of equity. (4) Historically, the rules of law common to all people in England, as distinct from local or customary laws. (see ‘Common law duty of care’, above).
Centrelink benefits and allowances
Prisoners do not have a right to receive Centrelink benefits. However, a possible exception to this is prisoners with a right to sickness benefits.
It has been held that a prisoner serving a life sentence who was hospitalised for schizophrenia was eligible to receive sickness benefits from the Australian Government Department of Social Services. The prisoner in that case was not detained in a mental hospital in connection with his conviction for an A criminal act prohibited by state or commonwealth criminal law. An offence is either a summary offence (minor) or an indictable offence (serious). (see Secretary, Department of Social Security v Bulsy Australian Social Security Guide 92–135).
Prisoners can enrol in educational courses. Courses ranging from primary school level to tertiary level are available in most prisons.
Buying and selling property
Prisoners may legally buy and sell all forms of property, make wills, enter contracts, and To take legal action in a civil case. and be sued for A court order for money to be paid to someone to compensate them for a loss suffered as a result of a civil wrong or breach of contract. For example, a person who caused a serious permanent injury to another person can be ordered by the court to pay damages that compensate the injured person for their loss of income from being unable to work. See also aggravated damages; compensatory damages; general damages; liquidated damages; nominal damages; special damages.. A prisoner may nominate a person to receive any of their property (pt 5 Corrections Regulations).
People released from prison
People who have been released from prison can enrol and vote in local, state and federal elections. It does not matter how long the person was in prison for, why they were in prison, or whether or not they have a permanent address. They just need to be an Australian citizen and be at least 18 years old.
Prisoners who are serving a sentence in Victoria of less than three years are entitled to enrol and vote in federal elections. Prisoners who are serving a sentence of less than five years are entitled to enrol and vote in local and state elections.
Prisoners on remand
Prisoners on remand are eligible to enrol and vote in local, state and federal elections.
Prisoners on To free a prisoner after they have served a minimum term, but before the end of their sentence. While on parole the person may be subject to conditions such as having to report regularly to police.
Prisoners on parole can not vote in local or state elections, but they can vote in federal elections.
How prisoners vote
There are two ways prisoners can vote. First, by post. Second, at a voting booth set up at the prison by election officials. The prison manager advises the AEC whether a voting booth is required at the prison. Prisoners are entitled to become general postal voters, which means they are automatically sent postal voting Relevant or important. For example, material evidence is something that helps to prove an argument in a criminal case. at state and federal elections without having to apply for a postal vote. Postal voting is the preferred method for prisoners to vote as the AEC and the VEC are moving away from attending prisons.
Change of name
While in Lawful control over a person which prevents them leaving. A person under arrest is in police custody and is not free to go. A person in prison is serving a custodial sentence that keeps them confined to the prison grounds. a prisoner can only change their name (or their children’s names) with the DJCS Secretary’s written approval; it is an offence for a prisoner to change their name without that prior approval (s 47H Corrections Act). The DJCS Secretary can only approve a change of name if they are ‘satisfied that the change of name is in all the circumstances necessary or reasonable’ (s 47I (1)). Similar provisions apply to prisoners who are on parole (see ss 79B, 79C).