Victim meetings and submissions are an important part of the decision making process.
Under the Parole Act, the Board's decision-making must give due weight to any submission from victims and the outcome of any restorative justice initiative.
What victims say assists the Board in making decisions on whether or not to release an offender.
If you want to share something - whether it’s small or large - it could make a difference.
Can victims make submissions to the Board?
Yes. When registered victims are notified of an upcoming hearing, they will be invited to make a submission. This can be a written submission, or they can request a meeting with the Board.
If possible, please keep your written submission brief, use one side of the paper only, and type it or write it out clearly. This will help the panel should they need to refer to it during the hearing. Receipt of your submission will be acknowledged.
Other people can send written submissions to the Board on your behalf. You will need to tell them when their submissions are due in to the Board.
Can I get information to help prepare my submission?
If the offender is eligible for parole or release on conditions, and you are a registered victim, you are entitled to ask for:
- a list of any rehabilitative programmes attended and completed during the sentence.
- the offender’s current prison security classification.
- any convictions imposed since the beginning of the sentence.
If you wish to receive this information, you must make a request to the Department of Corrections. This information is to assist you to prepare a submission and is not to be used for any other purpose. Please note that if the offender is not released you will automatically receive this information before each subsequent hearing.
What if I want to make an oral submission?
You need to advise the Board’s administration if you wish to make an oral submission. An appointment will be made for you to meet the Board. The meeting will take place at a venue to be arranged with you. This will not be at a prison and will be scheduled before the offender is seen by the Board. Some meetings are held through video conferencing.
Does the offender see my submission?
Yes, generally the offender will be able to read your submission, or a summary of an oral submission may be read to them at the hearing. However, while your name remains your contact details are deleted. The offender cannot keep a copy of your written submission.
Our submission forms allow you to indicate whether your submission should or should not be shown to the offender - but the Board makes the final decision on that.
What support can I access?
Victim Support has funding to assist victims to attend parole hearings including travel, accommodation and special expenses such as childcare. Please contact your local Victim Support office about this.
If you are making an oral submission, support people can also accompany you but you must get prior permission from the Board if you would like someone to speak on your behalf. Support people do not have to be family. If you need an interpreter you may arrange for one to attend. The costs for this are your responsibility.
What if I don't want to make a submission?
As a registered victim you are under no obligation to provide a written submission or meet the Board to make an oral submission. Even if you don't provide input to the hearing process, you will still be advised of the Board's decision. You will be advised of all hearings, if you choose not to make submissions at each hearing earlier ones can be referred to by the Board.