Public holiday and Christmas arrangements

Public holidays

While the prison routine does not change too much offices and prison industries will close. Some routine items such as weekly and monthly canteen buy sheets will occur earlier.

Some routine services may not be available to be organised on those days such as booking a doctor appointment. Emergencies will always be responded to.

Christmas and new year

Christmas is regarded as a very family orientated time of the year and can be a difficult time in prison.

Prayers, services and activities

The chaplain will provide an appropriate service for those of the Christian faith. Some prisons allow Christmas cards and decorations to be displayed.

Other faiths

There are no special arrangements for other faiths at Christmas. Ramadan is catered for at the appropriate date.

Prisoners can book a professional visit by a faith leader who can organise an appropriate service.

Cards and gifts from prison

Prisoners can buy Christmas cards via the canteen system. Volunteer support groups such as 'Second Chances’ and ‘Christmas Angels’ can assist in getting presents for a prisoners children as well as assist with delivery.

Some prisons have arts and crafts programs where prisoners will be able to create presents for their loved ones.

The standard mail and property rules apply to items sent from prisons. Cards will be opened, read and examined.

Cards and gifts to prisoners

The standard mail and property rules apply to items sent to prison. Gifts will be opened, read and examined.

Presents to prisoners cannot be wrapped as they will be opened for inspection.

Phone calls on Christmas day

Prisoners will be able to make their regular 10 minute phone calls. On this day it is difficult to organise a set time to call. With many prisoners wanting to make a similar call the line ups may be longer than usual.


It may be possible for prisoners to organise additional visits from family and friends at this time. Prisoners should speak to their case manager.