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Procedure Properties

Title: Leave of Absence
Category: Offender Management
Version: 12
Implement Date: 1 December 2009
Application: Custodial Operations
Availability: Public

Authority

Policies

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

Appendices and Forms

Procedures

Performance Measures

  • Abscond rate

Local Procedures

  • Darling Downs - Regular/Random Checking of Prisoners on Approved Leave of Absence Programs (in-confidence)

Procedure - Leave of Absence


Purpose
1.General
2.Life sentenced and serious violent offenders
3.Interstate leave of absence
4.Mutual assistance approval
5.Compassionate and health leaves of absence
6.Educational leave
6.1Register of educational leave
7.Community service leave
7.1Register of community service leave
8.Eligibility criteria for educational and community service leave
8.1Assessment of suitability criteria for educational and community service leave
9.Leave for another purpose
10.Leave programs
10.1Developing a leave program
10.2Approving a leave program
10.3Refusing an application for a leave of absence program
10.4Review of a leave program
10.5Amendment/suspension/cancellation of a program
11.Unlawfully at large
12.Transitional arrangements for resettlement leave of absence
12.1Frequency and duration of resettlement leave of absence
12.2Resettlement leave
12.3Requirements while on a leave
12.4Surveillance and supervision
12.5Contravention of leave of absence conditions
12.6Cancelling and amending leave
12.7Register of resettlement leave
12.8Social pass
12.9Request for social pass

Purpose

To provide community access for offenders in emergency or special circumstances and to provide graduated community access that will meet rehabilitation and re-integration goals in a safe, efficient and effective manner.

1. General

Refer Corrective Services Act 2006 (CSA) ss. 72-96; Corrective Services Regulation 2006 (CSR) ss. 15-16; Instrument of Delegation of Chief Executive Powers - Corrective Services Act 2006 (in-confidence)

The delegate must consider all relevant factors when considering applications for leave of absence.

CSA s 82(1) identifies that certain offenders must not be granted leave of absence unless for compassionate or health purposes, if they are-

  1. an offender detained on remand for an offence;
  2. an offender detained under the Migration Act 1958 (Cth);
  3. an offender imprisoned for an indefinite period for contempt;
  4. an offender detained under the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1945, part 3;

    Note- The Criminal Law Amendment Act 1945 part 3 deals with indeterminate detention of offenders convicted of sexual offences.
  5. an offender detained, other than as mentioned in paragraph (d), for a sexual offence.

In granting leave of absence, the possibility of the offender having contact with the victim/s of the offence must be considered. Leave may be refused, or an alternative venue for the leave may be required, if it is assessed that the leave would cause distress to the victim/s. The leave of absence order may include a condition precluding contact with the victim/s.

When an offender is subject to an order under the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 1989, a leave of absence order must include a condition precluding contact with any person named in the order.

2. Life sentenced and serious violent offenders

Refer CSA s. 81 for leave of absence provisions for an offender who is serving-

  1. a life sentence; or
  2. a term of imprisonment for a serious violent offence, as defined under the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992, regardless of the length of sentence.

3. Interstate leave of absence

Refer CSA ss. 89-96 and CSR s. 15

An interstate leave permit may be granted for a period of not more than seven days. Refer Form 18 - Interstate Leave Permit

An interstate leave permit may only be granted if the State to which the offender wishes to travel is declared to be a participating State. Refer CSA s. 96; CSR s. 16

The facility holding an offender making a request for an interstate leave of absence must complete letters of notification and forward to the Deputy Commissioner, Custodial Operations. Refer administrative form - Interstate Leave of Absence - Notification letters

4. Mutual assistance approval

Approval may be granted for an offender to travel to a foreign country to give evidence in criminal proceedings or assistance in criminal investigations at the request of the Commonwealth Attorney-General (refer CSA s. 96A and Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act 1987 (Cth) ss. 26-27). The Commonwealth Attorney-General will only make a request for an offender to travel and provide assistance if the offender consents to the request.

The Commonwealth Attorney-General will send a written request including details of dates of travel and escort arrangements. Requests for prisoners will be sent to the Deputy Commissioner, Custodial Operations. Requests for parolees will be sent to the Queensland Parole Board. Before a formal request is sent the Australian Federal Police may contact the offender to determine if the offender is willing to provide assistance.

Before granting mutual assistance leave of absence the decision maker should be satisfied that the offender understands the purpose of the travel and consents to providing assistance in the criminal proceeding or investigation.

If approval is granted the decision maker must issue Form 45 - Mutual Assistance Approval. The form should contain all conditions necessary for offender's travel to the foreign country. The form must be provided to the offender and to the Commonwealth Attorney-General.

If approval is not granted the decision maker must advise the Commonwealth Attorney-General in writing that approval was not granted.

The period of approval will be until the offender is no longer required. It is not possible to specify the date the offender will return to Queensland.

An offender in a foreign country on mutual assistance approval remains eligible for parole. Arrangements can be made for the offender to be released from custody in the foreign country if parole is granted (refer Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act 1987 (Cth) ss. 26(3)(d)(ii) and 27(3)(c)(ii)).

5. Compassionate and health leaves of absence

Refer CSA ss. 72-73, 82; Instrument of Delegation of Chief Executive Powers - Corrective Services Act 2006 (in-confidence)

Compassionate and health leaves of absence-

  1. may be granted to an offender in emergency or special circumstances that are assessed as important for the emotional or physical well being of the offender; and
  2. are intended for specific and one-off occasions and should not normally be used for a continuous purpose, but may be granted-

    1. on more than one occasion for the same purpose; or
    2. for an overnight stay.

The following offenders may only be granted leave of absence for compassionate or health purposes-

  1. detained on remand for an offence;
  2. detained under the Migration Act 1958 (Cth);
  3. convicted of a sexual offence listed in CSA, Schedule 1;
  4. imprisoned for an indefinite period for contempt; or
  5. detained under the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1945, part 3.

In these circumstances, the offender must be escorted during the leave of absence. Refer CSA s. 82.

An offender must apply for each instance of compassionate and health leave of absence using administrative form - Application for Leave of Absence.

6. Educational leave

Refer CSA s. 72 (1)(c)

Educational leave provides opportunities for an eligible offender to access specific educational and vocational education and training programs and related activities that cannot be provided within the corrective services facility or through distance education. These programs and activities must have been identified and endorsed during the offender management process as conducive to the offender's rehabilitation.

Educational leave-

  1. may be granted for attendance at an approved educational facility, institution or place but only with the knowledge and approval of the person in charge of the educational facility/institution/place;
  2. may be granted for an educational or vocational training program or a related activity/event, for example, an exam that has been recommended through the offender's management plan but only with the knowledge and approval of the person in charge of the education facility/institution/place;
  3. must not be in an occupational stream associated in any way with the offender's current or previous offence/s or where associated professional or occupational registration may be prohibited due to the nature of the offender's convictions; and
  4. requires satisfactory progress reports by the education facility/institution/place on a regular basis appropriate to the program/course to the general manager of the corrective services facility.

Offenders on a work order may also be permitted to undertake approved vocational or educational courses that are available in the local community. Any programs undertaken must be consistent with the offenders assessed needs.

6.1 Register of educational leave

The general manager of the corrective services facility must maintain a register of approved educational leave, the surveillance conducted and any incidents during periods of leave.

Refer procedures - Assessment, Planning, Review, Work Order

7. Community service leave

Community service leave provides opportunities for an eligible offender to make reparation to the community by undertaking voluntary activity at approved projects within the community. An offender undertaking community service leave must not profit financially from any sponsoring organisation but may be remunerated by the responsible corrective services facility. Refer procedure - Remuneration

Community service leave-

  1. must only be granted to an offender who has a developed and approved program of leave of absence (refer section 14 of this procedure);
  2. must only be granted to an offender to attend an approved community service project. Refer procedure - Community Service Projects;
  3. must be restricted to the minimum time necessary to satisfy community service requirements for community service projects; and
  4. requires satisfactory participation/behaviour reports of an offender by the project supervisor/sponsor on a regular basis and as appropriate to the program/activity to the general manager of the corrective services facility.

7.1 Register of community service leave

The general manager of the corrective services facility must maintain a register of approved community service leave, the surveillance conducted and any incidents during periods of leave.

8. Eligibility criteria for educational and community service leave

It is desirable that an offender serving a sentence of less than eight years will have been accommodated in a low security facility for a period of at least three months before becoming eligible for educational and community service leave.

It is desirable that an offender serving a sentence of eight years or more will have been accommodated in a low security facility for a period of at least six months before being eligible for educational and community service leave.

The preceding time periods of three months for offenders serving less than eight years and six months for offenders serving eight years or more do not preclude the delegate from exercising discretion to assess an offender's suitability for an educational and community service leave program when the stipulated time period has not been met.

An offender classified as low security accommodated in a high security facility may be considered for educational and community service leave, for example, when-

  1. the offender would normally have been transferred to a low security facility except for a psychiatric or medical reason or a disability; or
  2. the offender would normally have been transferred to a low security facility however for operational reasons, the offender is required to remain at a high security facility.

8.1 Assessment of suitability criteria for educational and community service leave

The required assessments for educational and community service leave must be conducted using administrative form - Community Service and Education LOA Assessment. This form and associated documentation must accompany the application for approval of a leave program. Refer procedure - Assessment

The need for a psychological and/or psychiatric assessment must be determined on an individual basis. The decision maker must determine whether a specialised assessment is required to ensure a sound decision making process.

9. Leave for another purpose

Refer CSA s. 72(1)(g)

A high security offender must not be granted leave to attend any social/recreational activities (eg. shopping/movies). This type of leave may only be granted in exceptional circumstances, for example, an unavoidable parental/family responsibility.

10. Leave programs

10.1 Developing a leave program

If leave of absence is to be granted on more than one occasion for the same purpose, a leave program must be developed and approved by the delegate. In the case of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander offender, an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff member or community representative should, if practicable, be involved in the development of a proposed leave program.

For resettlement leave, the recommended leave program must be included in the recommendation area of the Parole/Leave of Absence Assessment Report forwarded for approval to the Queensland Parole Board.

For education and community service leave, refer administrative form - Community Service and Education LOA Assessment. The proposed leave program must be forwarded to-

  1. the relevant manager for a recommendation; then
  2. the delegate for approval of the program.

Following approval of a leave program, the offender must submit administrative form - Application for Leave of Absence for each instance of leave.

10.2 Approving a leave program

Refer CSA ss. 72-96; Instrument of Delegation of Chief Executive Powers - Corrective Services Act 2006 (in-confidence)

10.3 Refusing an application for a leave of absence program

If an application for approval of a leave program is refused, the decision maker must specify a review date. The review date is the earliest date after which the offender may re-apply for a leave program. In the case of decisions made by the Queensland Parole Board, a copy of the advice to the offender must be forwarded to the general manager of the corrective services facility.

10.4 Review of a leave program

A review of any leave program must be conducted immediately if-

  1. the frequency/duration/conditions of the program are to be amended;
  2. a report indicates that an offender is not meeting performance requirements on leave of absence or has not complied with a condition of the leave of absence order;
  3. an offender is refused parole;
  4. when an individual leave is refused;
  5. for unescorted leave, significant changes occur in the offender's personal circumstances; or
  6. in the case of a resettlement leave program, when there are requests for changes in sponsors or sponsor residence.

The findings of reports/assessments, especially those regarding risk to the community must be considered in the review.

If possible, a review of a leave program should be conducted in conjunction with an offender management plan review. In the case of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander offender, an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff member or community representative should, if practicable, be involved in the review.

A leave program for educational or community service purposes must be reviewed by the offender management team whenever a specified review period has been set.

If a review results in a recommendation for the suspension or cancellation of a leave program the offender management review team must-

  1. complete Form 17 - Notice to Prisoner of Amendment / Suspension / Cancellation of Leave of Absence Order (refer IOMS) and forward the form to the original approving authority;
  2. if applicable, establish the criteria for reinstating the program of leave of absence; and
  3. ensure any subsequent leave program or re-instatement of the program is referred to the relevant approving authority.

10.5 Amendment/suspension/cancellation of a program

A resettlement leave program may only be amended, suspended or cancelled by the Queensland Parole Board. All other leave programs may be amended, suspended or cancelled at any time by the delegate. Refer Acts Interpretation Act 1954 s. 24AA; CSA ss. 79, 80, 85, 86; Instrument of Delegation of Chief Executive Powers - Corrective Services Act 2006 (in-confidence).

If a review results in a recommendation that an amendment be made to the leave program, the proposed amendment/s must be forwarded to the approving authority.

If an offender requests an amendment to a resettlement leave program, the request must be referred to the offender management review team at the corrective services facility for consideration. If applicable, the general manager should make a recommendation and then forward the request for amendment and recommendation to the Queensland Parole Board.

If a leave program is amended, a copy of the amendment and the reasons for the amendment must be attached to the offender's file.

11. Unlawfully at large

If an offender is unlawfully at large from a leave of absence, a corrective services officer or police officer may -

  1. arrest the offender without warrant; or
  2. apply in writing to an authorised person for the issue of a warrant for the issue of a warrant for the offender's arrest.

Refer CSA s. 112.

12. Transitional arrangements for resettlement leave of absence

Amendments to the Corrective Services Act 2006 which took effect in 2009 remove the entitlement of offenders to apply for a resettlement leave of absence program (refer CSA ss 481-485). If the offender applied before this date it can be considered by the Queensland Parole Board and a resettlement leave program can be approved. Programs approved before this date continue in effect and can be managed as set out in this procedure.

The Queensland Parole Board is the approving authority for a program of resettlement leave of absence. For eligibility criteria for resettlement leave, refer CSA ss. 76, 78. Resettlement leave of absence provides a structured and graduated process of community access for offenders serving periods of imprisonment of eight or more years that is managed through the frequency and duration of individual episodes of leave of absence.

Refer CSA ss. 72(1)(f), 74-80, Instrument of Delegation of Chief Executive Powers - Corrective Services Act 2006 (in-confidence) Refer procedure - Parole Orders and Resettlement Leave Program; and appendix - Parole Board Assessment Report Guidelines

12.1 Frequency and duration of resettlement leave of absence

The frequency and duration of a resettlement leave of absence program is at the discretion of the Queensland Parole Board. A maximum of 12 hours leave each week is considered appropriate in most circumstances. Travelling time must be considered when making a recommendation for the duration of a leave.

The following table is an example of a graduated resettlement leave program for a low security offender intended to minimise risk to the community.

Phase

Duration of Leave

Frequency of Leave

1

8 hrs leave + travelling time if applicable

Once every 2 months for 4 months

2

10 hrs leave + x travelling time if applicable

Once each month for 2 months

3

12 hrs leave + travelling time if applicable

Once each fortnight for 2 months

4

12 hrs leave including a 2 hour social pass + travelling time if applicable

Once each week for 4 months


12.2 Resettlement leave

If an offender has been approved a program of resettlement leave of absence, the power to grant an individual leave rests with the delegate. Any conditions imposed by the delegate must be consistent with any conditions imposed when the leave program was approved.

The delegate may refuse to grant an offender resettlement leave notwithstanding that the program has been approved. The delegate must consider all relevant matters before deciding whether to grant each leave.

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

If an offender requests an absence from an approved leave residence, a schedule detailing reason for absence, name and address of activity, method of transport and route to be taken must be provided. Deviation from an approved schedule will be permitted only in exceptional circumstances and on a case-by-case basis.

12.3 Requirements while on a leave

An offender who has been granted leave of absence must carry Form 16 - Leave of Absence (refer IOMS), on his/her person at all times while outside a corrective services facility. These orders are an authority for an offender to be absent from a corrective services facility. The forms should include details of any approved social passes from the leave residence if applicable.

12.4 Surveillance and supervision

Physical surveillance checks must be conducted for an offender with a program of resettlement leave of absence at a minimum of once on every four occasions of leave.

Arrangements for telephone and physical check surveillance must be made before an offender commences resettlement leave.

Either staff at the relevant corrective services facility or staff from the district office closest to an offender's resettlement leave address must make physical checks. If checks are to be made by probation and parole officers, written notification must be provided to the relevant district office at least three working days prior to the commencement of leave.

On completion of the resettlement leave the district manager must fax the completed administrative form - Report on Surveillance Checks on Offenders to the requesting facility.

Refer administrative form - Report on Surveillance Checks on Offenders; appendix - Surveillance - Resettlement Leave and procedure - Compliance Management - Community Supervision (in-confidence)

12.5 Contravention of leave of absence conditions

If an offender is deemed to have contravened a condition of a leave order the officer conducting surveillance must provide-

  1. a verbal report to the general manager of the facility immediately; and
  2. a written report to the general manager of the facility, detailing the circumstances of the alleged contravention including time and location, as soon as possible.

A copy of the report must be attached to the offender's file.

12.6 Cancelling and amending leave

Leave should not be granted if information is received that may result in the approving authority suspending or cancelling approval for the leave of absence program. A report should be sent to the approving authority as soon as possible outlining the reason the leave was not granted.

Refer CSA s. 74 and administrative form - Parole Board Update Report

The delegate may suspend the operation of an order for an offender's leave of absence and require the offender to return to a corrective services facility if it is reasonably believed the offender-

  1. has failed to comply with the order;
  2. poses a serious or immediate risk of harm to someone else; or
  3. poses an unacceptable risk of committing an offence.

The delegate must notify the offender of the suspension or cancellation of the order before requiring the offender to return, unless it is reasonably believed the offender poses a serious and immediate risk of harm to someone else. Refer CSA s. 85

Immediately on suspending or cancelling an order for leave, the delegate must give written notice of the grounds for suspension or cancellation to the approving authority. Refer CSA ss. 74, 86

For resettlement leave programs, when the delegate decides not to grant or cancel leave, a written notice must immediately be given to the Queensland Parole Board. Refer CSA ss. 74, 86

All relevant reports including surveillance and supervision reports must be considered before not granting a leave.

Refer CSA s. 74 and administrative form - Parole Board Update Report

12.7 Register of resettlement leave

The general manager of the corrective services facility must maintain a register of approved re-integration and resettlement leave, the surveillance conducted and any incidents during periods of leave.

Refer appendix - Surveillance - Resettlement Leave

12.8 Social pass

For resettlement leave, the social pass must be approved by the Queensland Parole Board as a condition of the leave program.

The general manager may approve a social pass for an offender on resettlement leave to be absent from the leave residence for up to four hours per day to participate in authorised activities. Ordinarily, social passes are approved progressively to coincide with the progression of the program of resettlement leave.

Social pass activities must be limited to between the hours of 10 am and 6 pm. Deviation from an approved schedule will be permitted only in exceptional circumstances and on a case-by-case basis, for example, to the primary care giver of a child when special circumstances exist.

A social pass must be made for a specific purpose, location and time. If the pass is for a location that covers a large area such as a shopping centre, park or beach, the offender must be able to specify the actual shops or identify specific areas of the park or beach.

If a social pass is granted to attend a particular event, the pass should identify the location, be for the duration of the event, plus travelling time, not a general four-hour period.

An offender's whereabouts must be verifiable for the period of the pass. Surveillance checks must be able to be done on an offender at any time at the specified location.

12.9 Request for social pass

Offenders requesting social passes must record their request in their application for a resettlement leave of absence program. An offender, approved to participate in social passes as part of his/her resettlement leave of absence program may make a written request for an individual social pass. Each request must provide details of-

  1. the purpose of the pass;
  2. the location of the activity; and
  3. the proposed method of transport and the most direct route.

Refer administrative form - Resettlement Leave Conditions





KELVIN ANDERSON
Commissioner





Version History

01/12/2009 Version 12 - 21/09/2009 Version 11 - 19/02/2008 Version 10 - 20/04/2007 Version 09 - 28/08/2006 Version 08 - 06/01/2006 Version 07 - 15/08/2005 Version 06 - 19/08/2004 Version 05 - 12/12/2002 Version 04 - 10/12/2001 Version 03 - 01/07/2001 Version 00