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To protect, to rehabilitate and to serve

Health care - FAQs

Can a prisoner obtain their medical records once they are released?

Once prisoners leave prison, a summary of the medical treatment they received while in prison can be supplied by the Department of Corrective Services to health service providers. This is to make sure the former prisoner receives appropriate continuing care.

What happens if a prisoner requires non-lifesaving surgery? Is it performed in-house?

Prisoners requiring non-lifesaving surgery such as a joint replacement are placed on the public waiting list. Appropriate transport is arranged to take the prisoner to hospital if their surgery date comes up while they are still serving their sentence.

What happens if a prisoner needs urgent medical attention in hospital?

If an assessment carried out by prison health staff shows the prisoner requires hospitalisation, appropriate transport will be arranged.

When someone goes to prison, do they get to keep their medication?


Can family members bring in prescription medicine for prisoners?


Who provides medication to prisoners?

The Department's pharmacy is responsible for the supply and dispensing of medication to prisoners. If a prisoner is already on medication when entering the prison, prison health staff contact the patient's consulting doctor and receive a prescription for the medication. Prison health staff issue the medication either daily or, depending on the condition, the medication is kept on the prisoner.

What program and services are provided to prisoners with drug-related addictions?

To see a full list of programs on offer, refer to Programs.

Can prisoners catch diseases through tattooing in prison?

Yes they can. Tattooing is prohibited in all WA prisons however if a prisoner does receive a tattoo, the chances of infection are increased through sharing of needles. For more information, refer to Blood-borne infections.

Do prisoners see gender-related doctors?

All State prisons attempt to provide both female and male doctors however, due to the prisoner population prisoners may not see a specific-gendered doctor.

Do prisoners receive regular check-ups?

On entry, all prisoners are offered health assessments, including urine and blood tests, within their first 24 hours. Where necessary, follow up appointments are made with nursing, medical, mental health and specialist staff. Prisoners also receive annual health assessments on their birthday. If a prisoner is feeling unwell, they can request an appointment.

Are contraceptives eg the pill, provided to female prisoners?

Yes. Sex is prohibited in all WA prisons however if a prisoner is already on the contraceptive pill when entering prison, they may continue using the contraceptive if their external doctor agrees. If so, the prescription is given to prison staff from their doctor.

Do pregnant prisoners give birth in prisons?

At full term, all pregnant prisoners are transferred to hospital.

At what age can children stay with their mothers in prison?

At Bandyup Women's Prison, children can live with their mothers up until the age of 1. At Boronia Pre-release Centre for Women, children can live with their mothers up until age 4. Children under 12 can apply for overnight stays or extended day stays.

Are condoms provided to prisoners?

Condoms are provided to help reduce the spread of infections and blood-borne viruses among prisoners and the transmission of infections and blood-borne viruses when offenders are released back into the community. Exit kits which include public health information and condoms are also given to prisoners when they're released.

Page last updated: 13-Oct-2017