From 1 January 2020, victims who are included on the Victims Register will be notified if the relevant prisoner is approved for temporary release from prison to participate in a community team sport program.
Which prisoners can participate in a community team sport program?
Offenders may be eligible to apply to participate in a community team sport program while they are under sentence.
It is important to note that offenders that are ineligible for the program include those that have been convicted of murder, rape and manslaughter, among others.
Serious offenders of other crimes that may be eligible to apply face more rigorous assessment of their applications before they will be approved to participate and can only apply after they have served two thirds of the non-parole period of their sentence. This includes, for example, prisoners convicted of culpable driving and dangerous driving causing death.
All eligible prisoners must have reached a certain security rating by demonstrating good behaviour before they can apply.
What information will I be told about a prisoner if they are approved to participate in a community team sport program?
All victims who are included on the Victims Register, can choose to be notified if a permit is approved for a relevant offender to participate in a community team sport program. The prisoner cannot be temporarily released from prison to participate in the program until you have been notified.
The information that can be shared with you includes:
- that a community team sport permit has been granted and the prisoner may commence participation in a team sport program outside the prison
- the expected duration of the prisoner’s participation in the program (for example, the length of the sports season)
- if the permit is substantially altered, for example revoked or is changed for an extended period.
Information that we cannot share includes:
- the location of the program
- the name of the district, league or club in which the program is delivered
- the specific type of activity for which the permit is approved (e.g. football).
If an offender is being considered for a permit to participate in a community team sport program, Corrections Victoria will liaise with the Victims Register to establish if there are any victims on the Victims Register that need to be considered in relation to a decision about whether to grant approval for a permit.
The offender will not know any of this information when they hear the outcome of the application and there are several reasons why an application may be refused.
If you applied to be on the Victims Register before 1 January 2020, you will automatically receive this information about the relevant offender.
What happens if I don’t want to know if a permit is approved?
If you would prefer not to know if the relevant offender has applied for a community team sport permit, you can:
- write to the Victims Register at any time and request that you do not receive this information.
- select the relevant check box when you apply to be included on the register using the Victims Register application form.