P.05.Res.01 Items that are prohibited to be in the possession of or issued to prisoners (Prohibited Items)

Under section 43(1) of the Correction Act 2004 a prison director is not able to issue a prisoner with any item or allow a prisoner to keep any item unless that item has been declared by the Chief Executive to be authorised property, therefore any item of property that is not identified in the Rules on authorised property made under 45A (authorised property rules) as authorised property is effectively prohibited and prisoners cannot be issued with such property or be allowed to keep it in their cell or on their person.

This doesn’t mean items cannot be in a prison, or be used by a prisoner, e.g. knives are not identified in the authorised property rules as authorised property, so prisoners cannot keep them in their cells, but prisoners are allowed to use knives in the kitchen.

The following list of items, that have particular risks when in prisons, has been identified to emphasise that these items are not authorised property, and that it is particularly important that prisoners are not issued with these items or allowed to keep them. It is important to realise that this is not a complete list of all items that are not authorised property.

  • Mouthwash (any brand)
  • Aerosol cans and products
  • Any drug, alcohol or other intoxicating substance without the authority of a medical officer except when used in a religious service in accordance with section 79 (3) of the Corrections Act 2004.
  • Tobacco and equipment used for smoking tobacco or any other substance, not limited too, but including:
    • Cigarette filters, papers
    • Matches
    • Lighters
  • Drug manufacture items
  • Video cameras or devices capable of recording images.
  • Tape recorders, except those without microphones or which are otherwise incapable of recording (but may provide "dubbing" functions)
  • Cameras and photographic equipment
  • Electric heaters
  • Video players, video cassettes, DVD players and DVD discs
  • Tattooing materials – including items modified for this use
  • Radio scanners
  • All electronic games and consoles (e.g. brick held games)
  • Toothbrushes that are battery powered
  • Razors that are battery powered
  • Pepper
  • Mustard
  • Curry powder
  • Chilli
  • Fruit juice
  • Canned or bottled food, liquids
  • Cordial requiring sugar
  • Yeast
  • Honey
  • Chewing gum and bubble gum
  • Firearms, knives and other weapons
  • Martial arts equipment and material
  • Boxing equipment and material
  • Pyrotechnics
  • Glass container (of any description)
  • Gang related paraphernalia
  • Inflammable substances
  • Magnets (of any type, including those as part of board games)
  • Cordless headphones
  • Musical greeting cards
  • Cash money

Items of authorised property that may be problematic

  • Phone cards – if stockpiled for supply
    • Phone cards are authorised property by virtue of rule 5.3 (i) of the authorised property rules (they are items approved for purchase by prisoners through the prisoner purchase system). But if a prisoner has too many phone cards then the prison director or delegate may wish to consider using the power under section 43(2) of the Correction Act 2004 to refuse to allow the prisoner to keep so many phone cards. This would be on the basis that excessive phone cards stockpiled for supply may interfere with the effective management of the prison.
  • CDs or cassette tapes – if burnt, copied or homemade.
    • The prison director or delegate may wish to consider using the power under section 43(2) of the Correction Act 2004 to refuse to allow the prisoner to keep or be issued burnt, copied or homemade CDs or cassettes.
  • Clothing – if leather and/or leather-like.
    • The prison director or delegate may wish to consider using the power under section 43(2) of the Correction Act 2004 to refuse to allow the prisoner to keep or be issued leather or leather-like clothing.
  • Hobby Material and Tools, such as:
    • Brasso
    • Wax and tracing paper
    • Blue tack
    • Saw blades
    • Drill bits
    • Dremel Tool
    • Power tools
    • Hacksaw blades
    • Metal vices
    • Soldering irons, wood burners. (Items that present an ignition source)
    • Electric spray-guns
    • Two-pot resins, e.g. Araldite
    • Enamel paints.
      • Hobby materials are authorised property under rule 5.5 of authorised property rules but only if approval to undertake the hobby has been obtained. If a prisoner wants to have any of the above items to assist with their approved hobby then the prison director or delegate may wish to consider using the power under section 43(2) of the Correction Act 2004 to refuse to allow the prisoner to keep or be issued these items.
  • Posters, books, pictures etc. that is objectionable.
    • Posters are authorised property under rule 5.3(f) of the authorised property rules. Books are authorised property under rule 1.3(a) of the authorised property rules. Personal pictures are authorised property under rule 5.4(c) of the authorised property rules. But if they are objectionable then the prison director or delegate may wish to consider using their power under section 43(2) of the Correction Act 2004 to refuse to allow the prisoner to keep such items or issue them to the prisoner.
  • Electrical Items that are capable of transmitting sound, computing information, functioning as a telephone, or any item related to any type of telephone e.g. charger, SIM card.
  • Safety disposable razors. These are authorised property under rule 5.1(c) of the authorised property rules, except for prisoners accommodated in a high security unit, remand unit or a youth unit.