Official Visitor Program
What is an Official Visitor?
Official Visitors are independent community members who come from a range of backgrounds.
They visit adult and youth custodial centres to:
- take enquiries and complaints from inmates and young people
- work with centre staff to resolve enquiries and complaints from inmates and young people if required
- escalate issues that cannot be resolved locally
- monitor the conditions and treatment of inmates and young people
Official Visitors also submit reports which assist us to identify broader issues within the custodial environment.
In 2017 we comenced a Review of the Adminstration of the Official Visitor Program. The Review included looking at relevant legislation and polices, other Official Visitor Programs operating in Australia, a data analysis of population trends, and consultation with Official Visitors, Corrective Services NSW, Youth Justice NSW, and the relevant Ministers.
Review of the Adminstration of the Official Visitor Program (PDF , 698.3 KB)
How do inmates and young people in custody contact an Official Visitor?
Inmates and young people can talk to an Official Visitor confidentially when they visit a centre. An Official Visitor will normally attend an adult or youth custodial centre either fortnightly or monthly. In-person visits have been reduced at times due to COVID-19.
Inmates and young people can confidentially write to:
The Inspector of Custodial Services
Official Visitor Program
PO Box 85
Members of the public can also email email@example.com to enquire about how an Official Visitor may be able to assist someone in custody.
How do I become an Official Visitor?
Official Visitors are appointed in accordance with NSW legislation.
- Adult custodial centres - Official Visitors are appointed for up to four years by the Minister for Counter Terrorism and Corrections under the Crimes (Administration of Sentences) Act 1999
- Youth Justice centres - Official Visitors are appointed for up to four years by the Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services under the Children (Detention Centres) Act 1987
We advertise for new Official Visitors periodically. If you would like to be considered for appointment, or would like further information about the Official Visitor Program please contact the Official Visitor Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Official Visitor Program continues to operate, although necessary adjustments have been made so that Official Visitors can safely provide support to inmates and detainees.