Victims register – placement and removal of applicants

Purpose

To provide a process for the placement and removal of eligible persons on the Queensland Corrective Services (QCS) Victims Register.

1. Definitions

‘victims register’ – also known as eligible persons register pursuant to s320 of the Corrective Services Act 2006 (CSA 2006). The register is kept in accordance with s 320(1) of
the CSA 2006.

‘eligible person’ – means those specified by s320(2) of the CSA 2006. The QCS Victims Register will manage the register of eligible persons referred to in s320(2) of the CSA 2006.

‘registered party’ – a person who applied and has been approved to register on the QCS Victims Register.

‘victim’ – the actual victim of the offences the prisoner committed or the person concerned for their safety.

‘nominee’ – a person or agency nominated by a registered party to receive information on their behalf.

‘delegated officer’ – the Senior Advisor Victims Register and Advisor Victims Register.

‘senior delegated officer’ – the Director, General Manager and Executive Director responsible for the management of the QCS Victims Register.

2. General

In accordance with s320 of the CSA 2006, the chief executive is required to maintain an eligible persons register which is known as the QCS Victims Register. The QCS Victims Register records the contact details of persons
eligible to receive certain information from QCS about a prisoner they are registered against.

2.1 Persons who are eligible for inclusion on the QCS Victims Register

Persons eligible to register with the QCS Victims Register are specified in s320(2) of the CSA 2006.

3. Applications for registration on the QCS Victims Register

All applicants who wish to register with the QCS Victims Register must complete Form 49 – Application to Register with the Queensland Corrective Services Victims Register.

A separate application form is to be completed for each prisoner of interest.

The application form must include the signature, name or mark of the applicant and where applicable, their nominee.

In accordance with s320(3) of the CSA 2006, documentation verifying the identity of the applicant must accompany the application form(s).

Examples of this documentation may include a certified copy of a-

  1. drivers licence;
  2. current passport;
  3. 18+ Card; or
  4. another form of identification that satisfies the QCS Victims Register of the applicant’s identity.

If applying for multiple prisoners only one copy of each supporting document(s) is required.

Where there is difficulty obtaining such identification e.g. in remote communities, a statutory declaration confirming the person’s identity from an appropriate person, for example a police officer or member of a community justice group will be considered.

Copies of all documentation used for identification purposes must be certified by a Solicitor, Justice of the Peace, Police Officer or Commissioner for Declarations (s13 of the Oaths Act 1867).

A senior delegated officer responsible for the operation of the QCS Victims Register may, in exceptional circumstances, accept documents that have not been certified.

3.1 Verification of an application to register

Upon receipt of a completed application form, the QCS Victims Register must establish the legislative basis and eligibility status of the applicant from any of the following sources;

  1. Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions;
  2. Department of Justice and Attorney-General;
  3. Supreme, District or Magistrates Courts;
  4. Queensland Police Service;
  5. Court Transcripts;
  6. Warrants and Verdict and Judgment Records; and
  7. any other source considered appropriate, including DV Support Groups or other appropriate agencies.

3.2 Registration of a nominee

In accordance with s320(4) of the CSA 2006, an eligible person may nominate another person or agency to receive information on their behalf. Examples of a nominee may include but not be limited to:

  1. the victim’s legal representative;
  2. a community agency or organisation;
  3. a Government agency or department; or
  4. a family member or friend.

It is the responsibility of the Registered Party to notify the QCS Victims Register if there is a change in nominee and/or contact details.

3.3 Registration of a parent or guardian of a victim under 18 years

In accordance with s320(2)(a)(iii) of the CSA 2006 a parent or guardian can register on behalf of a victim under 18 years.

The parent or guardian will be advised the registration will only remain active until the child reaches 18 years.

The QCS Victims Register will contact the registered party six (6) months prior to the child reaching 18 years to remind them of the registration criteria.

At 18 years of age, should the eligible person wish to receive information about the prisoner of interest, they must apply to be registered with the QCS Victims Register in their own right by completing and returning a Form 49 – Application to Register with the QCS Victims Register.

Refer sections 3 and 3.2 of the QCS Victims Register – Placement and Removal of Applicants Procedure.

Refer section 7.6 of the QCS Victims Register – Placement and Removal of Applicants Procedure.

3.4 Registration of a child

In accordance with s322 and s323 of the CSA 2006, an application from a person under 18 years of age should only be approved where
a parent, guardian or a nominee who is over 18 years cannot be registered on their behalf.

On receipt of an application from a person under 18 years of age, the QCS Victims Register will contact the young person to establish if there is someone over the age of 18 years of age who can register and receive information on their behalf.

If the person under 18 years of age is unable to identify someone suitable, further assessment of the application will occur in accordance with s323(3) of the CSA 2006.

If a suitable registered party is identified, they are to be advised they will only receive information until such time as the eligible person reaches 18 years of age.

Refer sections 3.2 and 3.3 of the QCS Victims Register – Placement and Removal of Applicants Procedures

3.5 Registration of persons who are not victims of the prisoner’s current offences

Applications from persons applying to register under s320(2)(a)(iv) and s320(2)(b) of the CSA 2006 must be accompanied by documentary evidence that supports the applicant’s request for inclusion on the register. Documentary evidence that may be used
to support the application may include but not be limited to:

  1. a Domestic Violence order currently in force which lists the applicant as an aggrieved party;
  2. a Domestic Violence order that has lapsed which lists the applicant as an aggrieved party;
  3. correspondence from the Queensland Police Service or another government agency communicating concerns for the applicants safety;
  4. correspondence from QCS officers communicating concerns for the applicants safety;
  5. a statutory declaration from the applicant or another person with sufficient knowledge of the alleged threats or violence, witnessed by a person listed under s13 of the Oaths Act 1867;
  6. court documents that identify the applicant as a witness for the prosecution in a trial that resulted in the conviction of the prisoner; or
  7. any other evidence that validates the applicant’s request including documentation from a DV Support group or other appropriate agency.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to source and provide the documentary evidence to support their application.

4. Assessment

To allow for the delegated officer to make an informed decision regarding an application and to ensure the release of information does not affect the safety and security of QCS facilities and other persons, all applications will be subject to a review of the Integrated Offender Management System (IOMS).
The review will include but not be limited to:

  1. prisoner visits history;
  2. accommodation risk assessments;
  3. prisoner Next of Kin details;
  4. intelligence information from QCSIG and Corrective Services Investigation Unit (CSIU), (where necessary); and
  5. an applicant’s history with QCS.

4.1 DPSOA

If an application is received where the prisoner is convicted of sexual offences a check will also be conducted to establish whether an application has been made under the Dangerous Prisoners (Sexual Offenders) Act 2003 or whether a contravention of a DPSOA supervision order is pending. The check will include but not be limited to:

  1. prisoner’s IOMS profile
  2. email notifications received from the Government Department responsible for managing DPSOA matters
  3. DPSOA archive folder
  4. DPSOA affidavit folder in R: drive and
  5. contact HROMU by email

If an application to register is received where a DPSOA court matter is in progress, refer to section 5.1 of the Placement and Removal of Applicants procedure.

4.2 Parole Board Queensland

If an application is received where the prisoner has a parole eligibility date a check will also be conducted to establish whether the prisoner has lodged a (form 29) application by prisoner for parole order. The check will include a review of the prisoner’s IOMS file.

If an application to register is received where a parole application is in progress, refer to section 5.2 of the Placement and Removal of Applicants procedure.

5. Approval

With the exception of applicants who are prisoners, registrations that fall within s320(2)(a)(i), (ii) and (iii) of the CSA 2006 and have all appropriate documentation including signatures, name or mark may be determined by the delegated officer.

A senior delegated officer responsible for the management of the QCS Victims Register will consider and determine all applications for registration from prisoners and those applications to register that fall under s320(2)(a)(iv) and s320(2)(b) of the CSA 2006.

Applications to register will be determined within five (5) business days following receipt of all required documentation.

Every reasonable effort will be made to assist an applicant to meet the criteria detailed in s320(2) of the CSA 2006.

Refer Instrument of Delegation of Chief Executive Powers – Corrective Services Act 2006 and Victims of Crime Assistance Act 2009 Schedule 1AA.

Refer section 3.2 Initial correspondence of the QCS Victims Register Release of Information Procedure

The application must be processed in the VR IOMS application tool.

It is the responsibility of the delegated officer to confirm that all information including the registered person’s contact details are correctly inputted into both the VR IOMS application tool and the VR IOMS client file. When approving the application on IOMS the delegate is to enter a comment that
the contact details listed are correct. The delegated officer is to also enter a case note in the client file confirming the contact details are accurate.

The original copy of the Form 49 must also be signed by the relevant delegated officer. The applicant must be notified in writing of the outcome of the application.

If approved the letter from the delegated officer to the registered party or nominee will contain information relating to the prisoner in accordance with s324A and s325 of the CSA 2006.

The details of all approved applicants must be recorded in VR IOMS and the Victims Register flag activated on the prisoner’s IOMS profile.

A hard copy file is to be created using an authorised Government file for each approved application and it must be registered on the approved Government file management system.

A Victims Register – File Audit Process form is to be completed and attached to each hardcopy file.

An electronic copy of the application signed by the relevant delegate will be attached to a case note in the registered party’s client file in VR IOMS.

Details of the supporting documents will be entered into the VR IOMS application tool including the registered numbers of the document and the details of the certifying officer. Copies of the supporting documents will not be retained on either hard copy file or VR IOMS.

Recordkeeping is administered in accordance with DJAG Recordkeeping Policy.

Refer s323(1) and s323(2) of the CSA 2006

5.1 DPSOA

If approved and the assessment of the application identified a DPSOA matter is in progress the delegated officer is to immediately notify the Government Department responsible for managing the court matter. The delegated officer will also advise the eligible person of their right to make a submission
to the Supreme Court in accordance with s9AA and s21A of the DPSOA 2003.

Refer section 3.2 of the Release of Information procedure.

Refer section 8 of the Release of Information Procedure.

5.2 Parole Board Queensland

If approved and the assessment of the application identified a parole application is in progress the delegated officer will action the following:

  • The Parole Board Queensland will be advised via email that the Victims Register has a new registration against the prisoner, and that the registered person has not yet had the opportunity to make a Submission to the Parole Board Queensland;
  • IOMS will be reviewed to determine if an Accommodation Risk Assessment is in progress or completed in relation to the parole application. Where necessary, Probation and Parole will be contacted to advise a VR flag has been raised for the prisoner. Probation and Parole will be advised of any proximity
    concerns noted between the registered person’s address and the prisoner’s proposed address;
  • The registered person will be informed that the prisoner has submitted a parole application, and will be advised of their right to make a Submission to the Parole Board Queensland.

Refer section 3.2 of the Release of Information procedure.

Refer section 6 of the Release of Information procedure.

6. Refusing an application to register with the QCS Victims Register

Only a senior delegated officer can refuse an application to register with the QCS Victims Register.

A review of IOMS records will be conducted prior to an application being considered to establish if:

  1. registering the applicant results in a conflict of interest; or
  2. places a person or correctional centre at risk.

Examples of where it may be considered appropriate to refuse an application for registration may include but not be limited to:-

  1. insufficient evidence provided to establish victim status or relationship to victim;
  2. where releasing the information required under s324A and s325 of the CSA 2006 may endanger the security of any corrective services facility, or the safety or welfare of a person;
  3. where the applicant is demonstrated to be in contact with the prisoner of concern e.g. visiting them in custody, residing with them or willing to be their sponsor when they are released from custody; or
  4. where it may not be in the interests of a child victim.

If the child is in care consultation must take place in accordance with s323(4) of the CSA 2006.

Where there is an intention to refuse a registration, the applicant will be advised in writing of the senior delegated officer’s intention to refuse and where applicable provide reasons.

The applicant is to be afforded 21 calendar days from the date of receipt to respond to the decision to refuse the application. Any further submissions received from the applicant are to be considered by a senior delegated officer.

The applicant will be notified in writing of the senior delegated officer’s decision to refuse the application.

An application refusal does not include those instances where s320(1) and s320 (2) of the CSA 2006 are not satisfied. In such instances a delegated officer will contact the applicant to advise of the criteria to register.

The application will be processed and determined in the VR IOMS application tool. A copy of the signed letter from the delegate to the applicant is to be attached in the VR IOMS application tool. The original application that has been refused or not progressed will be recorded on an approved Government
electronic file management system.

7. Removal of a person’s details from the QCS Victims Register

To ensure compliance with the process when removing a person’s details from the Victims Register IOMS section, an officer from the QCS Victims Register will complete a QCS Victims Register – Completion Registration Checklist form and, if appropriate, deactivate the VR flag.

A second officer from the QCS Victims Register will review the registration completion and both officers will sign and date the Checklist form.

The reason for removing a person’s details from the QCS Victims Register will be documented as a case note in the eligible persons VR IOMS profile.

7.1 Removal following completion of a prisoner’s sentence

The registration will be completed in VR IOMS, the VR flag deactivated on the prisoner’s IOMS profile and the hard copy file archived when the prisoner of concern:

  1. reaches their custodial end date and is discharged from QCS supervision;
  2. has completed the operational period of a suspended sentence;
  3. is discharged from a supervision or continuing detention order under the Dangerous Prisoners (Sexual Offenders) Act 2003;
  4. dies whilst subject to QCS supervision;
  5. is transferred to another jurisdiction;
  6. has their conviction set aside in its entirety on appeal and they are no longer serving a sentence;
  7. has reached their custodial end date or is discharged to bail; or
  8. Refer to section 7.2 of the Placement and Removal of Applicants Procedure when a prisoner has completed their sentence but remains in custody on remand.

The eligible person must be advised in writing of the completion and that no further correspondence will be sent from the QCS Victims Register regarding the prisoner of interest.

A copy of the correspondence will be attached to the eligible persons VR IOMS file.

If there are multiple prisoners of interest against the registered party the registration is to remain active.

If notification of an unplanned incident (ie in relation to a prisoner’s release, resulted in an eligible person’s registration being incorrectly completed) the eligible person is to be advised and the registration reactivated.

Refer sections 3 and 4 of the QCS Victims Register – Release of Information Procedure

Refer section 5 of the QCS Victims Register – Placement and Removal of Applicants Procedure

Refer s324A and s325 of the CSA 2006

7.2 Prisoners with VR flags reverting to full remand

In cases where the prisoner has completed the sentence but remains in custody on remand a senior delegated officer must be consulted prior to completing the registration. The senior delegated officer will determine the further management of the registration and/or the release of information.

7.3 Removal of a person’s details from the QCS Victims Register at their request

An eligible person or a person acting on their behalf may apply to have their registration completed. All requests for completion must be in writing. The eligible person should be informed in writing that their registration has been completed and that no further correspondence will be sent from the
QCS Victims Register regarding the prisoner of interest.

The hard copy file will be archived and the VR IOMS file marked as complete. If there are no other registrations related to the prisoner, the VR flag will be deactivated on the prisoner’s IOMS profile.

7.4 Removal of a person’s details from the QCS Victims Register for safety and security reasons

A person’s registration may be completed where it is established that their continued registration may endanger the security of a corrective services facility, the safe custody or welfare of a prisoner or the safety or welfare of someone else.

Circumstances where this may occur include but are not limited to:

  1. an eligible person has publicly disclosed prisoner information provided to them by the QCS Victims Register (this does not include incidences where information has been released to a third party as a result of circumstances that relate to an eligible person seeking support and assistance);
  2. where an eligible person has voluntary contact with the prisoner they are registered against (this does not include those circumstances where it is a requirement of the Court or by Order); or
  3. the actual victim removes consent from the eligible person or nominee.

The senior delegated officer will determine if the eligible person will remain on the QCS Victims Register in accordance with s324(2)(a) and (b) of the CSA 2006.

The removal of a person from the QCS Victims Register will not occur in instances where there is approved mediation and/or where there is a direction from the Court.

The eligible person will be formally notified in writing that their registration may be completed and is to be afforded 21 calendar days from date of receipt of the advice to respond to the intention to remove them from the QCS Victims Register.

Any further submissions received from the applicant in response to the letter of intention to remove are to be considered by the senior delegated officer.

At the completion of the 21 day timeframe or following receipt of further submissions, the matter will be determined by the senior delegated officer.

The eligible person is to be formally notified that their registration will be completed and that no further correspondence will be forwarded from the QCS Victims Register regarding the prisoner of interest.

In instances where the party is an eligible person’s nominee or agent, the eligible person, where practicable should be given the opportunity to either change their nominee or revert to receiving the information themselves.

The delegated officer will prepare correspondence recommending the senior delegated officer approve the removal of a person from the QCS Victims Register.

A copy of all correspondence from the QCS Victims Register will be attached to the eligible person’s VR IOMS file and hard copy file.

Refer Instrument of Delegation of Chief Executive Powers – Corrective Services Act 2006

Refer section 7 of the QCS Victims Register – Placement and Removal of Applicants Procedure

Refer s324 of the CSA 2006

7.5 Removal of a person’s details from the QCS Victims Register where they cannot be contacted

Where an eligible person cannot be contacted by the QCS Victims Register either by mail, email or telephone despite reasonable efforts, the delegated officer will suspend the eligible person’s registration for a period of six (6) months.

The VR flag will not be deactivated during the suspension period.

All attempts to contact an eligible person will be recorded in VR IOMS.

If the eligible person contacts the QCS Victims Register within the suspended period and provides updated details, the registration can be reactivated.

Where mail was sent to a nominee and subsequently returned and no other contact can be made, the eligible person, where practicable, should be notified. The eligible person will be offered the opportunity to provide another nominee or nominate to receive the information.

If no contact is made within six (6) months, the delegated officer will complete the eligible person’s registration on VR IOMS, where appropriate will deactivate the VR flag on the prisoner’s IOMS profile and archive the hard copy file.

Reasons for the completion are to be case noted in the eligible person’s IOMS profile.

If the eligible person is registered against multiple prisoners, each file is to be completed on IOMS and the hard copy file archived.

If the eligible person re-establishes contact with the QCS Victims Register following the deactivation of the registration, they will be required to submit a further application for each prisoner to re-register with the QCS Victims Register.

A copy of all correspondence from the QCS Victims Register will be attached to the eligible person’s VR IOMS file and hard copy file.

Refer s324 of the CSA 2006

7.6 Removal of a parent or guardian’s details from the QCS Victims Register when the victim reaches 18 years

Six (6) months prior to the victim reaching 18 years the QCS Victims Register will contact the parent or guardian to remind them of the eligibility criteria.

The parent or guardian will be advised the registration will remain active until the victim reaches 18 years.

The parent or guardian will be encouraged to arrange for the victim to apply in their own right.

The parent or guardian will be advised the victim can apply to be registered and can request the parent or guardian be their nominee.

Refer s320(2) of the CSA 2006

Refer section 3.3 of the QCS Victims Register – Placement and Removal of Applicants Procedure.

8. Archiving of records

The deactivation of an eligible person’s registration on VR IOMS is to be completed and recorded on a Victims Register – Completion Registration Checklist.

The eligible person’s hard copy file is to be archived in accordance with the relevant procedure.

Recordkeeping is administered in accordance with DJAG Recordkeeping Policy.

Peter Martin APM
Commissioner

Last updated: 22 August 2018
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