Post sentence

 

Victims' Register - Department for Correctional Services

The Victim Service Unit in the Department for Correctional Services maintains a Victim Register.  Registered victims are entitled to information about the offender if he or she is in prison, if he or she is serving a Community Service Order or a Bond.

In order to register as a victim of crime and be placed on the Victim Register, you need to show that:

      • you are a victim of a criminal offence; and
      • the offender you wish to register against is under the supervision of the Department for Correctional Services; or
      • the offender you wish to register against is in prison in relation to the offence, or offences, for which that person is a victim.

See below for information on how to register.

Offender is serving a Community Service Order or Bond             

If you are the victim of crime and the offender is serving a Community Service Order or Bond, you are eligible to apply for information about the order or bond.

You should be told, on request, if the offender was ordered to undertake community service – whether the offender completed the community service; and, if the offender was subject to a bond – whether the conditions of the bond were complied with.

To register as a victims of crime and receive this information, you must be the victim of the offence for which the offender has received the order or bond.

Offender is in prison

If the offender is in prison, a registered victim is entitled to the following information:

      • the name of the prison in which the offender is currently imprisoned
      • sentence details
      • security classifications
      • details of any transfer of the offender from one prison to another
      • date and circumstances under which the offender will be released (for example, on bail, leave of absence, home detention or parole)
      • escape from custody and return to custody.

When a prisoner is reclassified to Low Security, he or she will become eligible for certain programs.  A prisoner on a leave program could be in the community, either accompanied or unaccompanied, for a limited time, under certain conditions.  Leave could be granted for home detention, education, employment or other programs in preparation for returning to society.

Before a prisoner is able to participate in any of these pre-release programs, staff from the Department for Correctional Services will contact you.  They will tell you what is involved in the proposed program(s).  They will also discuss with you any conditions or restrictions that need to be made to the prisoner’s leave.  Your comments are very important in helping the Department for Correctional Services to decide the conditions under which a prisoner may have leave to go into the community.  However, you do need to be on the Victim Register if you want the opportunity to have this information, and to comment on the Department’s plans for the offender.

Certain emergency leaves may be granted to a prisoner at any security classification.  For example, a prisoner may be granted leave under supervision to attend the funeral of a close relative.  It may not always be possible to contact persons on the Register before such leave is granted.

How to register

You can have your name placed on the Register by approaching the Victim Services Unit in the Department for Correctional Services (phone 8226 9067).  The application form is also available under Resources.   Only the Victim Unit and, when appropriate, the Parole Board have access to your details.  This ensures confidentiality.  The person who committed, or is accused of committing, the offender cannot get hold of your details.

Before you are listed on the Victim Register, the Department will check details of the offence and of you with the police.

Forensic mental health

Forensic Mental Health is a specialist area of the mental health system in South Australia that provides services to meet the needs of offenders with mental disorders, including: rehabilitation services; and, mental health services provided within custodial settings as well as mental health services within the community.

Forensic Mental Health also incorporates the Forensic Court Service, which provides services to the victims of the offenders conduct, including preparing reports for criminal courts on teh views of the victim (if any) of the offender's conduct; and if a victim was killed as a result of the offender's conduct - the next of kin of the victim. Forensic Mental Health also help the victim and the victim's next of kin identify and, as necessary access, counselling services.

Registered victims

The Victim Register Coordinator is a member of the Forensic Court Service. The Coordinator maintains a Register of victims and victims' next of kin. The Co-ordinator notifies registered victims on key information affecting them, including court decisions relating to forensic offenders, prospective release dates, escapes from detention and re-admissions, as well as when forensic offender's term in detention and/or under supervision ends.

Youth

If you are a member of the immediate family of a person unlawfully killed by a young offender and that offender is sentenced to a term of detention (or imprisonment), you may apply to be recorded on the Victims Register kept by the department responsible for detaining the offender.

To apply, you should write to the Chief Executive of the government department responsible for detaining the young offender to be recorded on the ‘Victims Register’.  You should include in your written correspondence:

(a) your name;

(b) your contact address and telephone number or the name, contact address and telephone number of a person you nominate to receive information on your behalf;

(c) any information (including the name of the youth) that you know or have in your possession to assist the Chief Executive to identify the youth.

If you register as a victim, the Chief Executive must, when requested to do so by the Training Centre Review Board or Youth Parole Board (the Board), provide the Board with the contact information you gave when you applied to be recorded on the Victim Register.  Staff for the Board will then contact you, if necessary.

You should be told if the young offender who killed your loved one escapes from detention and is re-apprehended.  You should also be told when the young offender is eligible for release under supervision or on parole.  You might then in writing tell the Training Centre Review Board or the Youth Parole Board (the Board) about your safety concerns and other information that you feel might help the Board determine whether to release the young offender and, if so, under what conditions.

As a registered victim, you may attend a meeting of the Board, if you have made prior arrangement with the Board to attend that meeting.  You should therefore contact staff for the Board if you want to talk about this option.

The Board cannot re-sentence the young offender, so you should not ask the Board to keep the young offender in detention longer than the original sentence imposed by the Court.

Public officials are not allowed to divulge information about victims that is kept on the Victims Register, except as required or authorised by law; as required in legal proceedings; or with the consent of the registered victim to whom the information relates.

Parole Board

If you are listed on the Victim Register, there will be an opportunity for you to make a submission to the Parole Board in writing or, by prior arrangement with the Board, in person before the prisoner is released on parole.

There are no hard and fast rules about what can be included in a victim’s submission.  Your submission could include the following:

      • If you have specific areas of concern (such as worry that the prisoner will try to contact you), you might request that certain locations or areas be noted in the conditions as restricted areas for the prisoner;
      • you might have outstanding issues that you feel should be brought to the Board’s attention (for example, copies of Restraining Orders or other Family Court Orders that may be relevant); and
      •  you might mention continuing issues relating to the impact of the offence on you and your family.

Please note that the Parole Board cannot re-sentence the prisoner.  The Parole Board’s role is to:

      •  hear parole applications and decide whether a prisoner is released on parole;
      • set parole conditions;
      • monitor the progress of those on parole;
      • hear breaches of parole conditions and determine what action is to be taken; and,
      •  to undertake Prisoner Reviews.

If you want to make a submission you should write to the Secretary, Parole Board of South Australia, 181 Flinders Street, Adelaide, 5000.  If you want to make a submission in-person, you should also contact the Secretary.

All submissions to the Parole Board are confidential and prisoners will not have access to them under any circumstances.  If, however, information from your submission is used to justify the Parole Board’s decision and the prisoner asks for an explanation of that decision, the Board will summarise the relevant information in its report to the prisoner.

If the prisoner is paroled, and your name is on the Victim Register, you will be told his or her release date.  You will be told of anything the prisoner must, or must not, do concerning you.  For example, you will be told if the prisoner has to stay away from you, and what happens if he or she does come near you.