Detainees can maintain contact with the outside world regularly using a full range of communications media.

75. Detainees are able to maintain contact with the outside world and plan for the future through regular access to a full range of communications media.

The following indicators describe evidence that may show this expectation being met. They do not exclude other ways of achieving it.

  • There is sufficient access to telephones at all times.
  • Detainees can make international phone calls at rates comparable to those available in the community.
  • Detainees without money are provided with a reasonable number of free calls of sufficient length.
  • Detainees are able to use personal email accounts and have internet access for communication, information and leisure purposes, and can open attachments.
  • All legitimate websites are accessible. There are effective procedures for quickly and permanently unblocking sites that have been inappropriately restricted.
  • Detainees have free access to video calling and social networking to support contact with family and friends. Access is restricted only on the basis of documented individual risk assessment.
  • Detainees can quickly and easily send and receive faxes, without charge and without restrictions on length, to ensure that legal documents are transmitted in their entirety.
  • Detainees are able to send letters free of charge if they have no money, and are informed of how to do so. Detainees’ mail is not opened by centre staff unless there are identified individual risks.

Human rights standards

In relation to expectation 75 above: Human rights standards require detainees to be able to keep in contact with the outside world through various means, including digital means. See SMR 58, 63; EPR 24; BOP 19; UNHCR–DG 8[48(vii)]; CPT 2, 5.