QHVSG successfully initiates change to Federal Policy
We are pleased to let you know that we have recently secured an in-principle agreement for an important change in Federal policy that will make a difference to families across Australia who have lost a loved one to homicide.
Through member feedback, we recognised that once a prisoner who was subject to deportation was moved out of QLD Corrective Services (QCS), the QCS ‘Victims Register’ section was no longer able to provide updates to families around prisoner movements. This meant families were not able to find out where the perpetrator was (i.e., in custody or in the community), or when they were leaving the country. Not having access to this basic information was negatively impacting our members.
Thanks to bipartisan support and co-operation by the QLD and Federal Governments, this is going to change.
Through the efforts of both the Hon. Mark Ryan MP (Minister for Corrective Services, QLD) and Trevor Watts MP (Shadow Minister for Corrective Services, QLD), QHVSG was able to secure state-level support and then establish a meeting with the office of Federal Home Affairs Minister, the Hon. Peter Dutton MP. After a productive meeting, QHVSG has now been informed that critical information-sharing processes will change. This specifically relates to information about prisoners who are being deported from Australia post-release (whether on parole or end term).
This is a massive change to the Federal processes and a huge win for homicide victims’ families not only in QLD but in every state and territory across Australia. We have shared this significant development with NSW HVSG and will be in touch with other organisations across Australia who support homicide victims. We will now look to contribute to the development of a MOU to support homicide victims’ families across Australia. If you feel that this development is relevant to you, please contact me directly at the office for advice and support. We sincerely thank Minister Ryan, Mr Watts, and Hon. Minister Dutton for their support of this initiative.
Parole Board QLD – Victim Submissions
It is an uncomfortable truth that a part of the homicide victims’ journey is facing the possibility of the release of the perpetrator/s.
Persons sentenced to ‘life’ in QLD (if granted parole) will be under the supervision of Corrective Services for the rest of their lives. In short this means that these individuals have to abide by the conditions (rules) that are set down by the Parole Board QLD forever. Breaching these conditions or committing further offences may lead to the prisoner being placed back in custody.
Prisoners who have a custodial end date to their sentence and who are granted parole will also be subject to conditions of release.
Conditions that are set by the Parole Board are based on the individual prisoner and must take into consideration the point of view of the victims. These conditions may include, the prisoner not being allowed to enter specific towns or suburbs, having monitoring devices worn, having to undertake regular drug and alcohol testing, adhering to curfews, not entering licenced premises and having to undertake psychological treatment in the community. Critically, information that is supplied to the Parole Board is completely confidential and the prisoner does not have the legal right to access the details of those submitting information.
Our operations team at QHVSG can assist you in developing submission to the Parole Board. Please let us know if you need our advice around this.