CHAPTER 180
PRISONS ACT

Arrangement of Sections

PART I

PRELIMINARY

1. Short title.

2. Interpretation.

PART II

PRISONS AND STAFF

3. Establishment of Prisons.

4. Prison Officers.

5. Superintendent.

6. Functions of other Prison Officers.

7. Supply of weapons.

8. Use of weapons.

9. Prison officers deemed to be police officers.

10. Entry of cells at night.

11. Cells of Female prisoners.

12. Restrictions on gainful employment or receipt of fee or gratuity.

13. Detailment of police officers for duty in prisons.

14. Certain public officers deemed to be prison officers.

15. Restrictions on resignation.

16. Non liability for act done under authority of a warrant.

17. Medical Officer of Prisons.

18. Prison welfare officers.

PART III

PRISONERS, THEIR CUSTODY, REMOVAL AND DISCIPLINE

19. Confinement and lawful custody of prisoners.

20. Register, search, medical examination etc of prisoners.

21. Classification and separation of prisoners.

22. Discipline.

23. Incident of infectious or contagious diseases in prisons.

24. Sick prisoners.

25. Compliance with court orders.

26. Prisoners may be removed from one prison to another or, in certain circumstances, to some other place.

27. Prisoners in custody of persons other than prison officers.

28. Prisoners liable to work at labour.

29. Penal Labour in lieu of imprisonment.

PART IV

REMISSIONS, LICENCES AND SUPERVISION ORDERS

30. Remission of sentence.

31. Licences to be at large.

32. Form and conditions of licences to be at large.

33. Breach of conditions of a licence to be at large.

34. Compulsory supervision order.

PART V

SPECIAL PRISONS

35. Special prisons.

PART VI

PRISONS ADVISORY BOARD AND PRISONS REWARD FUND

36. Prisons Advisory Board.

37. Functions of the Board.

38. Prisons Reward Fund.

PART VII

MISCELLANEOUS

39. Maintenance of civil prisoners and unconvicted person.

40. Prisoners under sentence of death.

41. Report on life and long term prisoners.

42. Visits and Communication.

42A. Examination of visitors to a prison.

43. Examination of articles taken into or out of prison and powers of arrest.

44. Offence of bringing any article, etc, into prison contrary to this Act.

44A Offence of possessing cell phone, etc., in prison.

45. Release of prisoners.

46. Regulations.

47. Transitional.

18 of 1991,

16 of 2008,

17 of 2010,

6 of 2016,

8 of 2016.

[Date of commencement: 16th December 1991]

PART I

PRELIMINARY

1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the Prisons Act.

2. Interpretation.

In this Act—

“appellant prisoner” means any convicted prisoner who is confined in a prison as a result of a conviction which is the subject matter of an appeal which has been entered or lodged but the decision in regard to which has not been given;

“civil prisoner” means any prisoner other than a convicted prisoner;

“convicted prisoner” means any prisoner committed to custody under the writ, warrant or order of any court or authority exercising criminal jurisdiction or by order of a court martial and includes a prisoner sentenced to imprisonment in default of a payment of a fine or other sum imposed by such court or authority or a prisoner detained under section 10(1) of the Transfer of Prisoners Act, 2010;

[Am by s 20 of Act 17 of 2010 w.e.f. 2 August 2010.]

“prison” means any prison established under section 3;

“prisoner” means any person confined in a prison;

“Superintendent” means the Superintendent of Prison appointed under section 4;

“unconvicted person” means a debtor and any person on remand or awaiting trial or detained in safe custody or for want of sureties who has not been convicted by any court;

“young person” means a person under the age of 18 years.

PART II

PRISONS AND STAFF

3. Establishment of Prisons.

(1) There shall be prisons established in Seychelles for the confinement of prisoners under this Act.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), the President may, by order published in the Gazette, declare any place in Seychelles to be a prison.

4. Prison Officers.

(1) There shall be a Superintendent of Prisons for Seychelles and such other prison officers as may be necessary.

(2) Every prison where women are confined shall have a sufficient number of women prison officers.

(3) The Superintendent shall be appointed by the President and other prison officers shall be appointed according to the procedures applicable to employees in the public service and shall have such ranks and such designations as may be prescribed.

5. Superintendent.

(1) The Superintendent shall, subject to the orders and directions of the Minister, have the administrative command, superintendence, control and direction of the prisons and other prison officers.

(2) In the exercise of his functions under subsection (1), the Superintendent may—

(a) issue orders to be called Prison Standing Orders not inconsistent with the provisions of the Act;

(b) visit and inspect prisons.

6. Functions of other Prison Officers.

(1) Every prison officer shall perform such functions as may be prescribed and shall obey all such lawful directions in respect of the performance of his functions as he may receive from prison officers above his rank.

(2) Subsection (1) shall not apply to the Superintendent.

7. Supply of weapons.

(1) Prison Officers may be supplied with weapons for use, when so permitted under the Act, in the performance of their functions under this Act.

(2) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the Firearms and Ammunition Act, the President may authorise the supply and possession of firearms and ammunition to or by prison officers above such rank as he may determine.

(3) Where a prison officer ceases to be a prison officer he shall forthwith deliver to the Government the weapons supplied to him under this section.

8. Use of weapons.

(1) Subject to subsections (2) to (5), a prison officer may use the weapons supplied to him under section 7 against any prisoner when such prisoner—

(a) is escaping or attempting to escape;

(b) is engaged in any combined outbreak or in any attempt to force or break open the outside door or gate or enclosure wall of the prison and the prison officer may continue to use the weapons so long as such combined outbreak or attempt is actually prosecuted;

(c) is using violence to any prison officer or other person.

(2) A prison officer shall not use the weapons against a prisoner as authorised under subsection (1)(a) unless he has reasonable grounds to believe that he cannot otherwise prevent the escape of the prisoner or unless he has given a warning to the prisoner that he is about to use the weapons against him.

(3) A prison officer shall not use the weapons against a prisoner as authorised under subsection (1)(c) unless he has reasonable ground to believe that the prison officer or other person is in danger of life or death or that other grievous bodily harm is likely to be caused to the prison officer or other person.

(4) A prison officer shall not, in the presence of another prison officer of a rank above his rank, use the weapons against a prisoner as authorised under subsection (1)(a) or (b) except under the orders of the officer of the rank above his rank.

(5) The use of weapons under this section shall be as far as possible to overpower and not to kill.

9. Prison officers deemed to be police officers.

Every prison officer while acting as such shall have all the powers, authority, protection and privileges of a police officer.

10. Entry of cells at night.

Except in case of sickness and emergency, a prison officer shall not enter a cell of a prisoner at night unless he is accompanied by another prison officer.

11. Cells of Female prisoners.

A male prison officer shall not enter or remain in cell in which a female prisoner is confined unless he is accompanied by a female prison officer.

12. Restrictions on gainful employment or receipt of fee or gratuity.

(1) A prison officer shall not engage himself in any employment for gain or reward except with or connected with the Government or have any interest, direct or indirect, in any contract for the supply of goods to a prison.

(2) A prison officer shall not receive any fee or gratuity from prisoners, discharged prisoners, friends of prisoners or visitors to prisoners for or in connection with the performance of his functions under the Act.

13. Detailment of police officers for duty in prisons.

The Commissioner of Police may, from time to time, at the request of the Superintendent, detail any police officer to serve in the capacity of an escort or of a guard in or around any prison for the purpose of ensuring the safe custody of any prisoner and any police officer so detailed, shall while performing such functions, be deemed to be a prison officer.

14. Certain public officers deemed to be prison officers.

Any officer of a Government Department engaged in the supervision of out-door labour of prisoners shall, while so engaged, be deemed to be a prison officer.

15. Restrictions on resignation.

(1) A prison officer appointed under section 4, below the rank of Superintendent, shall not resign from his service in a prison unless expressly authorised by the Superintendent to do so or unless he gives to the Superintendent not less than three months notice in writing of his intention.

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), the Minister may in any particular case dispense with the notice required under subsection (1) or reduce the period of notice.

16. Non liability for act done under authority of a warrant.

(1) Where the defence to any proceedings instituted against a prison officer is that the act complained of was done in obedience to a warrant purporting to be issued by a court or other competent authority, the court in which the proceedings are instituted shall, upon production of the warrant and upon proof that the act complained of was done in obedience to such warrant, enter judgement in favour of the prison officer.

(2) In any proceedings referred to in subsection (1), it shall not be necessary to prove the signature on the warrant unless the court has reason to doubt the genuineness of the signature.

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