- Face-to-face social visits will resume this Saturday
- Tough new penalties will be in place for visitors breaking the law
- Resumption of visits will be in line with health advice
Visitors to Western Australian jails are being warned that tough new penalties will be in place ahead of social visits resuming this Saturday (June 27).
The new penalties mean a visitor who tries to bring in contraband such as drugs will face a $12,000 fine and 18 months' jail.
That is a sixfold increase on the previous financial penalty and introduces jailing as an additional punishment. The penalties had not been changed for nearly 40 years.
Visitors who enter or have left the prison can also be fined $6,000 (up from $1,000) if they refuse a search, or they can face 12 months' jail and $6,000 for loitering around a prison or concealing an article for a prisoner.
The face-to-face visits will resume in line with health advice including physical distancing, hygiene practices and individual assessments of visitors before they enter the prison including taking their temperature.
General security measures have also been tightened during the suspension of social visits.
Comments attributed to Corrective Services Minister Francis Logan:
"I want to be very clear to anyone that is thinking of bringing in drugs or other contraband that you will be risking significantly increased financial penalties and serious time in jail.
"The McGowan Government brought in these tough new laws, which have increased penalties by at least sixfold in many cases, to send a clear message that we are not letting up on our war to stop drugs and other contraband getting in our jails.
"It would be naive to suggest that this is not a problem for prisons throughout the world, but with these tough new penalties in place, more drug dogs, better drug-detecting technology and increased resourcing for our intelligence areas, you would be extremely foolish to try to break the law.
"Do not go from visitor to prisoner. You are not helping anyone inside and you could find yourself locked up serving more time than the person you think you're helping."
Minister's office - 6552 6300