Welfare of someone in a prison or detention centre

What to do if you are worried about the person you visit or speak with on the phone. Your concerns will be managed professionally and confidentially.
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Worried about someone in prison or detention centre

Let us know if you are concerned about the person you visit or speak with on the phone. We care about the welfare of prisoners and detainees and take these concerns seriously.

Most visits and phone calls go smoothly and can be a welcome break in prison or detention centre routine. However, if you think your relative, partner or friend may be at risk of self-harm or suicide, make sure you immediately notify the relevant prison or detention centre.

If you are concerned for a person’s welfare and/or safety, please immediately contact staff by calling the relevant number below.

Contact numbers (available 24 hours)

Calls to these numbers are for emergency purposes only.

You will be asked to provide your name, the prisoner or detainee's name, your relationship to them and the reason for your concerns.

Note: No information regarding a prisoner can be released to a third party without the prisoner's written consent.

Acacia Prison

9573 3300

Albany Regional Prison

9842 4400

Bandyup Women’s Prison

9374 8700

Banksia Hill Detention Centre

9333 2222

Boronia Pre-Release Centre For Women

9212 3600

Broome Regional Prison

9193 8500

Bunbury Regional Prison

9795 2155

Casuarina Prison

9411 5333, 9411 5300

Eastern Goldfields Regional Prison

9093 5100

Greenough Regional Prison

9923 6500

Hakea Prison

9366 6333

Karnet Prison Farm

9526 3200

Melaleuca Women’s Prison

6258 0208

Pardelup Prison Farm

9851 3700

Roebourne Regional Prison

9182 0100

Wandoo Rehabilitation Prison

9218 7900

West Kimberley Regional Prison

9161 6000

Wooroloo Prison Farm

9573 3000

Worried about someone in a prison or detention centre?

Being in prison or a detention centre can be difficult for some people and they may feel that their problems are more than they can deal with. A person may feel so overwhelmed and helpless about being in custody, or as a result of some other life events, that their future appears hopeless.

Tell the prison or detention centre if you feel someone you know might be at risk. If you know the person has experienced suicidal feelings or has self-harmed in the past, please also raise this concern with prison or detention centre staff.

Support is available in prison and detention centres

There are a number of specialist intervention professionals who can provide help for prisoners and detainees, such as psychologists, health staff and staff from the Aboriginal Visitors Scheme.

Some prisons and detention centres also have a Peer Support Program, where prisoners and detainees who have been trained can provide support and listen in confidence to other prisoners and detainees.

Signs to look for

Symptoms and signs may include:

  • Self-harming behaviours such as cutting, scratching, burning, punching self or objects.
  • Talking about suicide or indirectly referring to suicide (for example “you would all be better off without me”
  • Major life changes such as the death of a loved one, major change in health status, change in marital or significant relationship, significant debts, additional sentence, denial of appeal, refusal of eligibility to special programs.
  • Visible distress which includes crying and changes to normal behaviour patterns.
  • Social withdrawal.
  • Displays of helplessness or hopelessness (for example expressing “my life is not worth living”)
  • Giving away possessions or tidying up personal affairs (for example making a will).

What help is available to me?

Family Support Services provide prison visitors with a point of contact to understand the visits process and provide welfare support.

These services are at Family Visitor Centres in:

  • Albany Regional Prison
  • Bandyup Women’s Prison
  • Bunbury Regional Prison
  • Casuarina Prison
  • Hakea Prison
  • Melaleuca Women’s Prison
  • Wooroloo Prison Farm

Useful external services and resources


13 11 14


1800 650 890

Beyond Blue

1300 22 4636