Most prisoners are serving prison sentences imposed by a court. In most cases the court will also fix a non-parole period, being the period of time that a prisoner must spend in prison before release on parole [Criminal Law (Sentencing) Act 1988 (SA) s 32], see parole.
A remand prisoner is a person who has been refused bail (see arrest and questioning) and is being held in custody:
- while waiting to be tried for an offence
- while waiting to be sentenced, after having been convicted of the offence.
Remand prisoners in the metropolitan area are usually held in the Adelaide Remand Centre although over crowding means that frequently they are also held at the Yatala Labour Prison.
The status of prisoners who appeal against conviction or sentence is not quite so straightforward. The Department treats prisoners who have appealed against conviction as remand prisoners and prisoners who have appealed against sentence as sentenced prisoners. Where the appeal is against an order of a judge of he District or Supreme Court, the time spent in custody between the day the appeal is lodged and the day it is heard counts as part of the sentence (unless the person is on bail during that period) [Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 s 364(3)]. The same applies if a prisoner is appealing against a conviction or sentence of imprisonment imposed in the Magistrates Court.
Some offenders are sentenced to be detained until further order. Under section 23 of the Criminal Law (Sentencing) Act 1988 (SA), these orders can be made where the court considers that a person convicted of a sexual offence is unwilling or incapable of exercising control over his or her sexual instincts or needs care and supervision because of his or her mental condition
If the Minister of Health considers a prisoner is in need of care and control and is incapable of managing himself or herself, or his or her affairs, the prisoner is removed from prison to a special hospital for such people (for example, James Nash House) or to approved hospitals under the Mental Health Act 2009 (such as Glenside). A prisoner in such a hospital is deemed to be serving his or her sentence unless the Governor orders otherwise.
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.