A separation order is a disciplinary measure used to maintain the “good order, security and discipline” of the prison. If an incident occurs, or you face a disciplinary decision where there is a loss of all privileges, an order for your separation to “the slot” (management unit) may be made. The order must be in writing, or you must be provided with a written confirmation of that order no longer than 24 hours after the separation, according to Corrections Regulation 27.
You should not be placed on separation for longer than is necessary according to the reason you were placed on the order. Your medical and psychiatric needs must be taken into consideration when a separation order is made.
You should be told why the order has been made against you, though you may not be given any details apart from being told you are ‘under investigation’. You will be seen by a Review & Assessment (R & A) committee soon after you are put in the slot. If you do not know why you are in the slot you should ask why at this meeting, and every other meeting. If you are told you are ‘under investigation’ ask what for. You do not have to answer questions and they should give you details of what it is alleged you have done so you have the opportunity to be heard and give an explanation, if you wish.
The order will expire:
- according to the expiration date on the order
- when you are reclassified
- when the order is cancelled by the Secretary.
A separation order made contrary to law may be open to judicial review, refer to fact sheet #23: Judicial review.
This fact sheet contains general information only and is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice. If you would like advice regarding a specific problem please contact one of the legal services listed in contacts or contact the Law Institute of Victoria’s Legal Referral Service on 9607 9311.