HM Prison Barwon is a maximum security prison located 6 km
north-west of Lara, 20 km from the centre of Geelong and
about 70 km from Melbourne. It is the state of Victoria's
major maximum-security prison for male prisoners. It is one
of thirteen prisons in the state managed by Corrections
Victoria, part of the Department of Justice.
HM Prison Barwon accommodates approximately 417 male
areas. Separating prisoners into manageable areas allows for
the effective supervision, security and safety of the prison, and
also enables the appropriate provision of prisoner services to
be provided according to various needs.
Visits - Personal
There are three types of visits:
The type of visit permitted is dependent on a prisoner’s
placement, eligibility and the visit status of a visitor.
Mainstream prisoners that are eligible to participate in the
contact visit program may receive either one contact visit per
week or, one box visit per week (depending on the status of
the visitor or prisoner). Contact visits are for duration of two
hours on either Saturday or Sunday. Contact visit times are
between the hours of 8:15am – 3.30pm. Contact visits must
commence prior to 2:45pm and conclude by 3.30pm
Prisoners may have three (3) adults and four (4) children
participate on a contact visit.
Diosma, Cassia, Eucalypt, Illawarra:
Mainstream that are not eligible to participate in the contact
visit program may receive one box visit per week for the
duration of one hour, these visits must be booked by the
Prisoner. Box visits may take place on Friday, Saturday,
Sunday or Monday. Box visits are for 1 hour duration which
will be strictly adhered to. Commencement times for
Mainstream box visits are 8.15, 9.30, 10.45, 12.00, 13.15,
14.30, Please arrive to begin your visit at the appointment
time. Box visits on Friday or Monday must commence prior to
2.45pm and conclude by 3:30pm.
Prisoners may have three (3) adults and four (4) children
Protection prisoners that are eligible to participate in the
the visitor or prisoner).
Contact visits are for duration of two hours on either Saturday
or Sunday. Contact visit times are between the hours of
8:15am – 3.30pm, contact visits must commence prior to
2:45pm and conclude by 3.30pm
Contact visits that take place in the Hoya Protection
Unit on Saturdays between 8:15am – 12 noon will be
restricted to adult visitors only.
A.Side : Visits are from 12:30 to 15:30 DO NOT MIX
With main stream prisoners
Box visit times are between the hours of 8:15am – 3.30pm on
Saturday and Sunday and between the hours of 8:15am –
3.30pm on Friday and Monday. Box visits on Friday or Monday
must commence prior to 2.45pm and conclude by 3:30pm.
BOX or CONTACT VISITS
2:45pm and conclude by 3.30pm
Contact visits that take place in the Grevillea
Protection Unit on Saturdays between 8:15am – 3:30
will be restricted to adult visitors only (No children
Saturday and Sunday and between the hours of 11:45am –
3:00pm on Monday. Box visits on Monday must commence
prior to 2:15pm and conclude by 3:00pm and must be booked
a minimum of 24 hours in advance by the Prisoner.
Prisoners accommodated in the Acacia Unit are permitted one
box visit per week. In addition to the weekly box visit, one
special contact visit may take place each month between
prisoners and their natural children. Personal visits for the
Acacia Unit may take place on Friday, Saturday, Sunday or
Monday. Visit times are between the hours of 8:15am –
3.30pm, visits must commence prior to 2.15pm and conclude
All visits for the Acacia Unit must be pre-
Visitors who wish to visit but do not have a booking
cannot be guaranteed a visit. The visit will be subject to staff
and room availability.
Prisoners accommodated in the Banksia Unit are permitted one
box visit per week. Personal visits for the Banksia Unit may
take place on Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday. Visit times
are between the hours of 8:15am – 3.30pm, visits must
commence prior to 2.15pm and conclude by 3:30pm
who wish to visit but do not have a booking cannot be
guaranteed a visit. The visit will be subject to staff and room
Prisoners accommodated in the Melaleuca Unit are permitted
one box visit per week. Box visits for the Melaleuca Unit may
take place on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and
Sunday. In addition to weekly box visits the prisoners may
have one special contact visit per month if approved. Contact
visits take place on Saturdays and Sundays. Visit times are
between the hours of 8:15am – 3.30pm, visitors will not be
processed after 2.15pm.
All visits for the Melaleuca Unit
must be pre-booked.
Visitors who wish to visit but do not
have a booking cannot be guaranteed a visit. The visit will be
subject to staff and room availability.
Visitor Identification Process
First time visitors to HM Prison Barwon should allow extra time
Satisfactory identification must be produced by each visitor. A
the prison. Anyone who cannot produce satisfactory
identification will not be permitted to enter the prison.
Satisfactory identification must be current and be one of the
Current Drivers Licence, Correctional Services Pass,
Consulate ID Card, Law Card, Valid Passport, Shooters
Licence, Key Pass, Police Member I.D
Sixty Plus Card, Birth Certificate, Australian Citizenship
Certificate, Marriage Certificate, Defence Department I.D,
Government Authorised U16.
(only one of each of these items will be accepted) Medicare
Card, Social Security Card, Student Card, Credit Card, Bank
Book, Proof Of Age Card.
person’s face as well as their iris (coloured part of the eye).
This procedure is non-invasive and 100% safe as the image is
taken photographically. Infra-red technology is not used to
record the image of your eyes.
identification system and will make subsequent visits a faster
Standard of Dress for Visitors
Visitors are required to ensure that their presentation,
including clothing and accessories, are of an acceptable
standard and appropriate to the prison environment.
following dress items are not permitted
Singlets, Tank tops, midriff, sleeveless or strapless
Hats / caps of any kind
Revealing/Offensive clothing or jewellery
On entry to the prison, should the Senior Officer determine
that the visitors clothing or appearance is not appropriate to
the prison environment, where possible, alternative clothing
will be offered to enable the visit to take place.
Excessive amounts of jewellery or inappropriate jewellery is
not to be worn into the prison.
Authorised Items for Visitors
The prison provides
secure storage boxes at the
gatehouse for visitors to store personal items.
At the end of the visit, visitors can collect their stored property
Visitors with babies or young children
are permitted to
enter the prison with:
One baby bottle (containing milk, formula, flavoured
One container of purchased, sealed baby food
Other baby care items such as nappies are provided and
available in the Visit Centre.
$40.00 in gold coins is permitted per visit (not per visitor) for
As smoking is not permitted at anytime inside the visit centres,
Children are welcomed and well catered for at Barwon Prison.
various books, toys and play equipment is available. An adult
must accompany children under the age of 16. Parents are
requested to pack all items back in the appropriate storage
place at the conclusion of the visit. If at anytime you require
assistance, please approach the officer on duty for advice.
Barwon Prison provides prams once visitors have passed
pram may be stored at the John Coshall Centre.
Throughout the visit it is the responsibility of visitors to ensure
children are well behaved. It is expected that contact between
prisoners and their visitors be kept at an acceptable level.
Failure to do this may result in the Governor terminating the
without the General Manager’s permission. Any person
found doing so will be apprehended.
Any visitor found introducing contraband into a prison will
be banned from all visits at all prisons for a minimum
period of 12 months, with the matter also referred to
Persons entering the prison may be asked to submit to a
search of their person and their property.
Barwon Prison will only accept property from visitors registered
on the valid visitors list.
All property must be left at the Gatehouse prior to the visit
prisoners recording the following information:
The item received
The name of the prisoner
The prisoners unit
The name and address of the visitor leaving the
All prisoners’ property brought into the prison by visitors will
only. Any property brought in over the weekend will be
delivered to the property store as soon as is practicable. All
property items must be clean; any soiled / dirty items will not
Where a prisoner has reached the permitted amount of
Gatehouse security staff will be responsible for the processing
visitors for prisoners in accordance with the following
4 x underwear (Underwear must not have pockets or
pouches), thermal long johns and long sleeve
thermals permitted (for mainstream and protection
prisoners thermal underwear is only permitted in
white, for Acacia thermal tops must be red)
NEW UNDERWEAR ONLY
4 x white t-shirts permitted, crew neck without logos,
Sexually explicit - military articles - weapons - tattoo
Publications - drugs - home made bombs - magazines
that support terrorism.
Examples of magazines that are not permitted:
Weapons Magazines and Publications
Magazines that contain sexual
to A4 size only - no frames, computer generated
photos, regardless of how many pictures are on it,
are accepted as ONE photo.
Calendars permitted (no explicit sexual content -
laminated photos as part of, or attached to the
attached or enclosed are not permitted
Legal papers are permitted providing that they can
15cm, unless prior approval has been obtained
6 x Handkerchiefs permitted
NO Shorts of any type are permitted.
NO Runners of any kind are permitted
Musical cards are not permitted
Calendar diaries are not permitted
All cards and correspondence must be free of
attachments on any envelope or correspondence,
this mail will be placed within the prisoner’s property
until the prisoner is released.
Money can be sent in via the mail for a prisoner by family or
The prison will only accept money from visitors registered on
an approved solicitors trust account cheques. A money order
or bank cheque must be accompanied by the sender’s name
and address, plus the 'do not detach' stub (money orders
only), otherwise it will not be credited into the prisoner’s
Cash monies will be accepted at the gatehouse, visitors that wish
completed prior to the visit commencing. A prisoner may receive a
maximum of $140 per calendar month, which includes $50 for
ISD/STD telephone calls.
Prisoners can provide a list of up to ten (10) telephone
numbers for personal calls. All numbers must be verified for
appropriateness and acceptability by staff. Phone lists are
processed as soon as practicable.
Prisoners are not permitted to take incoming calls, however
Prisoners are not permitted to contact the media without
All prisoners’ private phone calls may be monitored or
Prisoners may write and receive as many letters as they wish.
Pre-paid envelopes and stamps can be purchased from the
prison shop at normal postage rates.
All mail envelopes entering the prison must be free of
attachments on any envelope, this mail will be placed within
the prisoner’s property until the prisoner is released.
Locked Bag 7, Lara, Vic, 3212
Road, Lara Vic. 3212
from the centre of Geelong and
approximately 70 km from Melbourne)
Concerns and Welfare
HM Prison Barwon has a Visitors’ Centre located outside the
Gatehouse. The Centre is usually open during visit hours.
Volunteers from Prison Fellowship usually staff the Centre on
If you have any concerns about the health or welfare of the
the nature of your concern before leaving the prison.
Alternatively, you may contact the prison (52 208 222) and ask
to speak with an Operations Manager or the Officer in Charge
of the prison.
Transport and Directions
Barwon Prison is located on the Bacchus Marsh Road
approximately six kilometres from the township of Lara. It is
60 kilometres from Melbourne and nine kilometres north of the
Corio Village Shopping Centre. The prison is sign posted on
the Geelong-Melbourne Highway and on the Bacchus Marsh
There is no public transport directly to the prison; however a
Station is provided by the prison. The bus is driven by
volunteers from Prison Fellowship. The service operates on
SATURDAY ONLY AT THE MOMENT.
, and transports visitors
between Barwon Prison and the Lara Railway Station at the
Bus meets train at Lara railway station
9.41am, 10.41am, 11.41am, 12.41pm
NO service at moment
Bus leaves Barwon for Lara railway station
12.10pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm, 3.30pm
NO service at moment
Prison there are general traveling conditions, which must be
adhered to by all visitors. If passengers do not respect these
conditions whilst using this service, they may be asked to exit
the bus. Please consult with Vacro staff or Corrections Victoria
staff in relation to these procedures.
The Victorian Association for the Care and Resettlement of
Offenders (VACRO) can provide practical and financial services
assistance to prisoners and their families. VACRO can be