As a prisoner you may have a range of legal and non-legal problems. If you have a specific legal problem, you may wish to go to the main Information about the law heading on this website and navigate to the information that best suits your needs.
The Legal Aid WA Prisoner Handbook - Your rights, the law and other information is available in each prison library. Prison staff such as transition managers or education officers may also have a copy. It has information for prisoners on a range of issues that may arise from rights and entitlements to family, criminal and civil matters.
The following information is designed to help you with some of the more common questions you may have. It is also designed to give information to your family and friends so they can assist you while you are in custody.
What services does Legal Aid WA provide to prisoners?
There are a range of different services that Legal Aid WA provides to prisoners. The following information includes reference to some of those services.
More detailed information about the services and resources that Legal Aid WA produces to assist prisoners, is contained in a Legal Aid WA kit, see: Information for Prisoners - Legal Aid WA Services.
What if I am on remand and I want legal advice about my charge?
If you do not have your own lawyer and you are appearing in the Magistrates Court, you should speak to the duty lawyer on the morning of your court appearance.
If you are appearing by video link and you want to speak to the duty lawyer, you should let the senior officer in your unit know so that arrangements can be made for the duty lawyer to telephone you before you appear in court.
If you are appearing in person, you should let the custody officers know as soon as you arrive at court that you wish to speak to the duty lawyer.
A duty lawyer can advise and represent you in the Magistrates Court:
- in relation to bail, and
- can appear for you on a plea of guilty.
A duty lawyer cannot represent you at a trial in any court and cannot represent you at all in the District or Supreme Courts.
See Duty Lawyer Service for more information.
See also Appearing in court on a criminal charge for general information about what to expect in court and when you might need a lawyer to represent you.
What if I have been sentenced to imprisonment and I want to appeal?
If you were represented by a lawyer at the time you were sentenced, the best thing to do is to contact that lawyer and discuss the possibility of appealing. As there are tight time frames for lodging appeals, you should do this as soon as possible.
If you were not represented at trial or at the time you were sentenced, you should contact Legal Aid WA. For information on how to do this, see under the heading How can I get help from Legal Aid WA?
For more information about appeals, including access to Appeal Kits produced by Legal Aid WA, see Appeals.
Where can I get information about parole?
Legal Aid WA produces a kit that is designed to assist you with issues relating to parole. See: Parole Information Kit. If you need additional assistance in relation to parole, you can speak to someone from legal Aid WA. For information on how to do this, see below under the heading How can I get help from Legal Aid WA?
Where can I get information about family law issues?
There is a lot of information on Legal Aid WA's website about a range of family law issues. See Family, relationships and children for full details of the information available.
The Midland Family Relationship Centre provides outreach services to all metropolitan prisons on a regular basis and can assist with family law related issues. If you would like to access their services, you need to ask the Transitional Manager, Resettlement Manager or a unit officer at your prison to put your name down on the list to be visited by someone from the Centre. For more information about the Centre, including location and contact details, access their website here: Midland Family Relationship Centre.
You can also speak to someone from Legal Aid WA. For information on how to do this, see below under the heading How can I get help from Legal Aid WA?
Where can I get information about prison offences?
Legal Aid WA produces a kit that is designed to assist you if you have been charged with a prison offence. See: Prison Offences Information Kit.
How can I get help from Legal Aid WA?
If you are in prison and you want help with a legal problem, Legal Aid WA may be able to assist you.
If you are in prison and you want to contact Legal Aid WA, you can use the dedicated Legal Aid WA InfoLine number provided by the prison.
If you are not in prison and you wish to contact Legal Aid WA, you should call the Legal Aid WA InfoLine on 1300 650 579.
The Legal Aid WA InfoLine can provide you with general legal information but cannot provide you with specific legal advice about your legal problem. If you require legal advice, you may be referred on to an appropriate service, either within or outside Legal Aid WA, depending on the type of legal problem you have.
Another way you can ask for help from Legal Aid WA is through the Prison Visiting Service. Under this service, Legal Aid WA representatives attend prisons for in person visits, either on a regular basis or on request. If you want to see a Legal Aid WA representative at the prison, you can either:
- ring the Legal Aid WA InfoLine to book a visit, or
- ask the senior officer in your unit to put your name down for the next visit.
Please note if you are at Hakea Prison the only way you can see a Legal Aid representative other than your appointed lawyer, is if you have a court date coming up soon.
Which prisons does Legal Aid WA service?
Legal Aid WA visits a number of different prisons around the State on a regular basis or by request. Please ring the Legal Aid WA InfoLine, check with your local Legal Aid WA office or ask the prison, to find out what service is provided to your prison.
How can I find out where a prisoner is being held?
You may contact the Department of Corrective Services on 9264 6229 or 9264 1587 between 7am and 3.30pm to find out where a particular prisoner is being held.
This map shows the location of all WA metropolitan and regional prisons.
Where can I get more information?
Last reviewed: 25/05/2015