Procedure for Search when a Prisoner is Naked (Strip Search)

18 February 2016

The Public Service Association (PSA) is aware of members' concerns about the procedure for search when a prisoner is naked (strip search). The specific concerns are that the gender requirement under the Correctional Services Act Section 37 Subsection (2)(a) is not being adhered to for all strip searches and that it is not practicable to read the statement on every strip search occasion due to time constraints.

A procedure has been developed in consultation with PSA Worksite Representatives to provide a standard strip search procedure across all prison sites which is practical in its application and meets the requirements of the Correctional Services Act 1982.

The PSA has written to Department for Correctional Services (DCS) stating that PSA members intend to implement the following procedure across all prison sites for the searching of prisoners when the prisoner is naked (strip search):

  • All Correctional Officers present at any time during a search when a prisoner will subsequently be naked must be of the same gender as the prisoner.

  • During a strip search, if use of force is required to gain compliance, the search is to cease until the situation is contained. The search is not to recommence until such time as sufficient Correctional Officers of the same gender are present to complete the search safely.

  • Copies of the strip search statement are to be placed on the walls in prison locations where strip searches are conducted. A multilingual statement is to be available in admissions areas for non English speaking prisoners. The statement is to be read to prisoners on the initial admission strip search.

  • The strip search statement is also to be read to the prisoner during the admission interview and the prisoner is to sign to acknowledge this. This acknowledgement is to be placed in the prisoner's case file.

  • The strip search statement will not subsequently be read to the prisoner when periodic searches are conducted.


Please direct any questions to your local PSA Worksite Representatives or the PSA.