No. 5 of 2004

Interviews With Adult Defendants In Custody

The Prison Service has requested that solicitors’ visits to take instructions from clients at the Hobart Remand Centre (HRC) be regularised, as last-minute requests are causing logistical difficulties in both the HRC and the Hobart Magistrates Court. Similar difficulties have also arisen in the northern and north-western registries of the Magistrates Court.

Corrective Services Division has recently advised that :

local solicitors must obtain instructions from clients housed at Risdon Prison, Hayes Prison, Hobart or Launceston Remand Centres at those locations in advance of court appearances; and

telephone interviews with clients will only be arranged where the solicitor’s professional offices are not located in the region of the prison facility.

Similarly, interviews with clients at either of the Remand Centres in Hobart or Launceston on the same day immediately prior to their appearance in the Magistrates Court are not always able to be arranged due to other duties that Remand Centre staff are required to undertake for other remandees and prisoners.

The Remand Centre staff will arrange interviews in circumstances where there has not been a reasonable opportunity to obtain instructions in advance eg. where a Defendant has recently been arrested, or a Defendant changes his/her instructions during proceedings. In these situations, Magistrates are prepared to stand the matter down briefly to enable a visit to the Remand Centre to take instructions. However, unnecessary adjournments can delay the conclusion of proceedings in court.

Practitioners are requested to assist the Prison Service by arranging visits for instructions at scheduled times. These visits must be pre-booked by telephone. Normal visiting hours and contact details are:

Location

Contact

Visiting Hours

Risdon Prison

(03) 6216 8017

9.30-11.30am, and 1-3.45pm

Hobart Remand Centre

(03) 6233 4188

9-10 am, 1-2 pm and 4-5 pm

Launceston Remand Centre

(03)6336 3942

9am -12 noon and 1 - 5pm

Jim Connolly
Administrator of Courts
14 December 2004