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Prison visits

Assessment criteria

Legal aid is available for solicitors and counsel to visit a defendant who is in custody at a prison/place of confinement (other than a watch-house) provided that:

  • the applicant has been provided aid for the substantive criminal law matter.

Requirements

Practitioners seeking an extension of aid for a prison visit, should electronically submit an extension for aid request via the Grants Online system prior to visiting the defendant in custody. For matters where aid has been approved for counsel the practitioner should advise whether counsel attendance at the prison visit is required.

Interpretation

Generally only one prison visit is claimable per stage of matter (ie one at committal and one at the higher court stage). If aid is requested for more than one prison visit per stage of matter, the practitioner is required to provide details to Legal Aid Queensland as to why more than one prison visit is required per stage of matter.

The prison visit fee is not available where the attendance on the defendant is in the court/police cells or via video-link.

The prison visit fee is designed to compensate the practitioner for the time spent travelling to the prison and for managing the administrative arrangements associated with the prison visit. The actual conference time is covered in the base preparation fee for the case.

When conducting a prison visit an articled clerk is paid at 50% of the solicitor’s rates.

Grant(s) of aid

The grant of aid for solicitor to attend a prison visit is PV1.

The grant of aid for solicitor and counsel to attend a prison visit is PV2.

The grant of aid that issues to ATSILS to allow the barrister to attend a prison visit is APV.

Extension(s) of aid

Travel expenses are payable for prison visits.The grant of aid is TE.  

Travelling time is not payable for prison visits as the prison visit fee already compensates the practitioner for the time spent travelling to the prison and for managing the administrative arrangements associated with the prison visit. 

Review of decisions

A decision to refuse a request for a prison visit may be appealed to a senior grants officer.

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