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Getting information about the offender

The Victims Register can give you information about the offender who was sent to prison for a violent crime.

You can get information about the offender if you or a family member has been affected by a crime such as:

  • assault
  • armed robbery
  • stalking
  • kidnapping
  • breach of a family violence intervention order
  • threats to kill
  • sexual offences
  • culpable driving
  • manslaughter
  • murder.

There are laws in Victoria about who can get information, and what information is available from the Victims Register. 

Getting information from the Victims Register

Apply to get information

To get information about the offender, you'll need to apply to be put on the Victims Register.   

For more information about how to apply:

Eligibility

You can get information about the offender from the Victims Register if:

  • the offender hurt you or a family member
  • a family member has died because of the crime
  • you have been a victim of family violence
  • you have a connection to the crime.

You can't be put on the Victims Register if you do not meet the eligibility criteria, or:

  • the prisoner is detained in a Youth Justice Centre
  • the offender has not been sentenced
  • the prisoner's sentence, Supervision Order or Detention Order has finished
  • the offender was found not guilty because of mental impairment.

Your privacy

The Victims Register is private. The offender will not know if you get information about them.

When you apply, you can ask for someone else to get the information on your behalf, such as a:

  • close friend
  • family member
  • case worker.

Information you can get

Once you are on the Victims Register, you can find out:

  • the length of the offender’s sentence
  • the offender’s earliest possible release date
  • if the length of the offender’s sentence changes
  • if the offender applies for parole
  • if the offender is released on parole
  • the conditions of the offender’s parole that could improve your safety
  • if the offender’s parole is cancelled
  • if the offender is transferred to another state of Australia
  • if the offender escapes from prison
  • if the offender dies during their sentence.

Information you can't get

Some examples of information you can't get from the Victims Register are:

  • which prison the offender is in
  • where the offender will live when they are released
  • details of any program the offender attends or completes
  • details of any assessments about the offender
  • details of any appeal hearings related to the case
  • details of court hearings for any other crimes the offender may have committed.
You get a say about the offender leaving jail

Parole

When a prisoner gets parole, they are released from prison to serve the rest of their sentence living in the community. Offenders on parole are supervised, and have rules (called conditions) they must follow. 

Prisoners don't automatically get parole, they have to apply for it. The Adult Parole Board decides if offenders are released from prison on parole, and the conditions that they must follow.

If you are on the Victims Register and the prisoner applies for parole, you will be invited to write to the Adult Parole Board to tell them how you might be affected if the offender is released on parole. This is called a victim submission.

In your victim submission, you can also ask the Adult Parole Board to think about parole conditions for the offender that could help improve your safety, such as asking that the offender is not allowed to:

  • contact you in any way
  • be in the suburb where you live or work.

If the offender is allowed to go on parole, the Victims Register will let you know at least 14 days before the offender is released from prison.

The offender will not be told if you make a victim submission to the Adult Parole Board.

For serious sexual offences

A serious sex offender may be put on a supervision order or detention order after they finish their prison sentence.

The Victims Register will let you know if there is a court hearing date for a supervision or detention order.

Supervision orders

An offender on a supervision order is supervised in the community after they are released from prison, and have conditions they must follow. The County Court or Supreme Court decides if an offender needs a supervision order.

Supervision orders can last for up to 15 years, and must be reviewed at least every three years by the court.

The Victims Register will invite you to give a victim submission to the court. If the court decides the offender needs a supervision order, you can ask the court to think about conditions for the offender that could help improve your safety.

Detention orders

If a serious sex offender is an unacceptable risk to the community after they have finished their prison sentence, a detention order can be used to keep them in prison. The Supreme Court decides if an offender needs a detention order.

Detention orders can last for up to three years, and must be reviewed by the Supreme Court at least every year.

When the offender's sentence finishes

The Victims Register can't give you any information after the offender finishes their:

  • sentence
  • supervision order
  • detention order.

Depending on the details of the case, the offender's sentence is finished when:

  • they are released from prison
  • they finish their parole period.

For more information