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 prisoner deemed necessary following evidence based assessments for the protection and safety of others where there is no other reasonable way to manage the risk/s to safety, security, or good order and discipline of the correctional centre (CSAC, 2018, p.36).
In Western Australia, the term ‘separate confinement’ is used in the Prisons Act 1981 (the Act) and in departmental policy. This is not to be confused with the ‘separation’ of prisoners, as permitted under r.54C of the Prison Regulations 1982, which is used to separate categories of prisoners, such as those requiring protection or those placed in the Special Handling Unit.