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Procedure Properties

Title: Early Discharge
Category: Offender Management
Version: 05
Implement Date: 28 August 2006
Application: Custodial Operations
Availability: Public

Authority

Appendices and Forms

Procedures

Policies

  • Instrument of Delegation of Chief Executive Powers - Corrective Services Act 2006 (in-confidence)

Performance Measures

  • Nil

Procedure - Early Discharge


Purpose
1.Eligibility for early discharge
2.Offender Application Process
3.Consideration of early discharge
4.Delegations

Purpose

To provide a process whereby eligible offenders can return immediately to their community, on the day of their discharge. The process is not relevant to offenders who are released to any form of conditional release or discharge. This may be granted up to seven (7) days earlier than their calculated discharge date

1. Eligibility for early discharge

An offender is only eligible for early discharge which means, unconditionally discharged from custody, when the offender has served at least half of the period of imprisonment. Refer Corrective Services Act 2006 (CSA), s 110

Early discharge, if ordered, reduces the period of imprisonment imposed by the sentencing court for the punishment of the offender and should only be ordered when confirmation of the offenders ties with a particular location or community have been verified, and when transport availability is otherwise not available on the calculated day of discharge, and then early discharge can be ordered.

There is no automatic entitlement to early discharge. The purpose of corrective services, provided in section CSA, s 110 and the overriding principle of safety of the community through the minimisation of risk, must be considered by returning the offender back to their community on their discharge day. Consequently, for early discharge to be ordered an offender should be given access to a transport option which would otherwise not be available where early discharge not granted, and when an offender has no other means of transport to return to his/her community on the day of his /her discharge. Consideration should be given to which day of the week transport is available, however, early discharge cannot be ordered any more than seven days earlier than the calculated discharge date.

2. Offender Application Process

A written application to the chief executive or delegate needs to be submitted by the offender for a grant of early discharge when his/her discharge date is approaching, but no less than 14 days.

Prior to making a decision about early discharge, the decision maker must inform himself/herself about whether the Serious Sexual Offenders Review Committee has the relevant offender under consideration for an application under the Dangerous Prisoners (Sexual Offenders) Act 2003. Additionally, the decision maker must inform himself/herself whether there are any individuals registered with the Victims Register and ascertain if there are any victim issues. Advice should be sought from the committee and the Victims Register before any decision is made in relation to early discharge.

The decision should consider, but should not preclude early release if there is -

  1. evidence of the offender's involvement in breaches of the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 1989; and
  2. ANCOR reporting requirements

Refer procedure - Child Protection - Reportable Offenders

The decision should also consider whether an alternate form of transport is available closer to the discharge date than what has been requested for by the offender.

3. Consideration of early discharge

The following steps outline the process for consideration of early discharge-

  1. An offender should complete an early discharge request using an administrative form - Application for Early Discharge. The offender should submit the application no less than 14 days before the date of discharge;
  2. the accuracy of the information provided by the offender must be verified (eg confirm the link between the offender and the offender's “community” or community/family supports and other factors as listed in section 2 of this procedure). Confirmation of information may require and include making contact with individuals or agencies in the community and/or receive written submissions which must be checked for authenticity. Actions to check information should be commented on in the relevant section in the application form;
  3. if required to assist the offender, inquiries should be made on the offender's behalf to the relevant authority (eg Translink or other bus services) to establish the earliest date when transport is available, which falls closest to the day calculated for discharge;
  4. the completed application form, and recommendation must be forwarded to the decision maker who will make the determination regarding early discharge;
  5. if early discharge has been ordered the decision maker must issue - Form 21 - Discharge Order;
  6. the offender must be notified of the decision details, so that he/she can notify their community/family regarding his/her pending arrival;
  7. if public transport is used, arrangements for the transport must be made by corrective services staff and direct payment made to the transport provider;
  8. the offender management officer must record any amendment to the offender's sentence calculations using IOMS.

4. Delegations

Delegated authority to grant early discharge is in accordance with the Instrument of Delegation of Chief Executive Powers - Corrective Services Act 2006 (in-confidence).





F P Rockett
Director-General





Version History

28/08/2006 Version 05 - 09/12/2003 Version 03 - 04/09/2002 Version 02