The practice of confinement and separate confinement of prisoners is used in every Australian state and territory. However, the parameters of the practice vary, and it is often described using different terms such as isolation, separation, seclusion or segregation (HRLC, 2020). The Guiding Principles for Corrections in Australia defines ‘separation/segregation’ as: Separate confinement of a …

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Image of inside a MPU cell at Casuarina Prison

Key findings

Confinement and management regimes are mostly consistent with policy We found confinement and management regime practices across the custodial estate were typically compliant with legislation and policy. However, we identified some discrepancies. The use of s.36(3) orders for temporary separate confinement were often non-compliant at Acacia Prison. And, across the estate we found little evidence …

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Image of inside a MPU yard at Casuarina Prison


The use of confinement and management regimes can be harmful. The deprivation of entitlements and social isolation experienced by prisoners in confinement can have a significant impact on their wellbeing. While improvements can be made to mitigate some of these negative impacts, it was reassuring to find that the use of restricted regimes across the …

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Image of inside MPU yard looking towards cell


Recommendation 1 Ensure Acacia Prison uses s.36(3) in accordance with departmental policy. Recommendation 2 Ensure behaviour management practices are being implemented in compliance with COPP 10.1 Prisoner Behaviour Management. Recommendation 3 Ensure all yards in management units are compliant with the Act and improve access to fresh air and exercise for prisoners in confinement. Recommendation …

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