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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.

Definitions

For the purposes of this procedure, 'eligible person' means those specified by s320 of the Corrective Services Act 2006 (CSA 2006).

Other terms used in this procedure and approved forms will include:

  1. Registered Party: a person who successfully applied to register on the QCS Victims Register.
  2. Victim: the actual victim of the offences the prisoner/offender committed or the person concerned for their safety
  3. Nominee:  a person or agency nominated by a registered party to receive information on their behalf.

1.         General

In accordance with s320 of the CSA 2006, the chief executive is required to maintain a register called the QCS Victims Register, which records the contact details of persons eligible to receive certain information from QCS about a prisoner/offender. This record must also include the prisoners/offenders of interest to the eligible person.

1.1       Persons who are eligible for inclusion on the Victims Register

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

2.         Applications for registration on the QCS Victims Register

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

The registration form must be signed by the applicant and where applicable, their nominee.

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

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.

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.

2.1       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 staff;
  2. Department of Justice and Attorney-General Victim Liaison Officers;
  3. Supreme, District or Magistrates Courts;
  4. Queensland Police Service;
  5. Court Transcripts;
  6. Warrants and Verdict and Judgement Records; and
  7. any other source considered appropriate.

2.2       Registration of immediate family members of non-deceased victims

In some circumstances it may be considered appropriate that in addition to the actual victim, the registration of an immediate family member of an adult victim may also be approved.

In these circumstances, consent from the actual victim should be obtained.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to seek and provide written consent from the actual victim to the QCS Victims Register.

2.3       Registration of a nominee

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.

2.4       Registration of a child

In accordance with s322 CSA 2006, an application from a person under 18 years 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 write to the young person advising them that they are able to nominate a person who is over 18 to register and receive information on their behalf.

Upon reaching 18 years, the person may contact the QCS Victims Register and register on their own behalf.

2.5       Registration of persons who are not victims  of the offender/prisoner's current offences

Applications from persons applying to register under s320(2)(i) and (ii) 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. Domestic Violence order currently in force which lists the applicant as an aggrieved party;
  2. a Domestic Violence order that has lapsed during the  prisoner's/offender's period of incarceration that 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 Intelligence Group (QCSIG) 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 Oaths Act 1867 s13;
  6. court documents that identify the applicant as a witness for the prosecution in a trial that resulted in the conviction of the offender; or
  7. any other evidence that validates the applicant's request.

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

3. Assessment

All applications will be subject to an environmental scan of the Integrated Offender Management System (IOMS). The scan will include but not be limited to:

  1. offender visits history;
  2. home assessments;
  3. prisoner/offender Next of Kin details;
  4. intelligence information from QCSIG and Corrective Services Investigation Unit (CSIU).

4. Approval

With the exception of applicants who are prisoners or offenders, registrations that fall within s320 (2)(a),(b) and (c) of the CSA 2006 and have all appropriate documentation and signatures may be assessed by the delegated officer.

When assessing an application the delegate will also determine the level of information to be provided to successful applicants.

A senior delegated officer responsible for the management of the QCS Victims Register will consider and determine all applications for registration from prisoners or offenders.

A senior delegated officer responsible for the management of the QCS Victims Register will also determine all applications to register that fall under s320(2)(d) CSA 2006.

The applicant must be notified in writing of the outcome of the application and the level of information to be provided if the application is successful.  (Procedure  - Victims Register - Release of Information)

The details of all approved applicants must be recorded on IOMS.

The QCS Victims Register will maintain both a hard copy and an IOMS file for all eligible persons.

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

A review of IOMS records will be conducted prior to approval 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 decline an application for registration may include but not be limited to:-

  1. the applicant is a prisoner or offender under supervision;
  2. where releasing the information may endanger the security of any Corrective Services facility, or the safety or welfare of other person;
  3. where the applicant is demonstrated to be in contact with the prisoner/offender 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 best interests of a child victim particularly if the child is in care.  In these circumstances, consultation must take place with the child protection chief executive. s323(4) CSA 2006.

In all cases where there is a consideration to refuse a registration, a senior delegated officer responsible for the management of the Victims Register should consider and determine the application.

When an application is refused, the applicant must be notified in writing and provided with reasons unless provision of these reasons would breach the security of a correctional centre or put at risk the safety of a person.

6.         Removal of a person's details from the QCS Victims Register

6.1       Removal following completion of an prisoner's/offender's sentence

A registration will be deactivated on IOMS and the hard copy file archived when the prisoner/offender of concern:

  1. reaches full time release in custody or community end date;
  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 in custody or under supervision in the community;
  5. is transferred to another jurisdiction and the entirety of the Queensland sentence has  been completed; or
  6. has their conviction set aside in its entirety on appeal.

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

6.2       Removal of a person's details from the QCS Victims Register at their request

An eligible person may apply in writing to have their registration deactivated.  The eligible person should be informed in writing that their registration has been deactivated and that no further correspondence will be sent from the QCS Victims Register.

The hard copy file will be archived and the IOMS file marked as complete.

Only an eligible person can request that their registration be deactivated.

6.3       Removal of a person's details from the QCS Victims Register for cause

A person's registration may be deactivated 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/offender or the safe custody or welfare of someone else.

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

  1. persons registered with the Victims Register being convicted of an offence and sentenced to a term of imprisonment; or
  2. an eligible person has publicly disclosed prisoner/offender information provided to them by the QCS Victims Register;
  3. where an eligible person has voluntary contact with the prisoner/offender they are registered against: or
  4. the actual victim removes consent from the eligible person or nominee.

In all instances where an eligible person has displayed actions that may warrant deactivation of their registration, the delegated officer will prepare a briefing note detailing the breach for consideration by the Deputy Director-General of QCS.

The Deputy Director-General will determine if the eligible person will remain on the Victims Register in accordance with s324(2)(a) and (b) CSA 2006.

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

The eligible person will be formally notified in writing that their registration will be deactivated and no further correspondence will be forwarded from the QCS Victims Register.

6.4       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 Victims Register either by mail, email or telephone despite reasonable efforts, the eligible person's registration will be suspended for a period of six months or until the eligible person makes contact and advises of new contact details.

Where the returned mail was sent to a nominee and no contact can be made, the eligible person should be notified.  The eligible person will be offered the opportunity to provide another nominee.

If no contact is made within six months, the eligible person's details should be deactivated on IOMS.

The eligible person may submit a further application to register again at a later date.

7.         Archiving of records

Upon deactivation of an eligible person's registration on IOMS, the eligible person's hard copy file should be forwarded to the Central Document Registry to be archived.

MARK RALLINGS
Acting Deputy Director-General

Last reviewed
29 August 2017
Last updated
29 August 2017

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