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Procedure Properties

Title: Justice Mediation
Category: Offender Management
Version: 03
Implement Date: 28 August 2006
Application: Agency
Availability: Public

Authority

Procedures

Performance Measures

  • Nil

Procedure - Justice Mediation


Purpose
1.Definitions
2.Process
2.1Confidentiality
3.Application for Justice Mediation
3.1Initiating an application
3.2Consultation
4.Assessment process
4.1Security clearance
4.2Suitability assessment
4.3Decision to proceed
4.4Completion of relevant forms
4.5Assessment of support persons
5.Offender support services
6.Secure custody
7.Evaluation of justice mediation

Purpose

To facilitate post-sentence justice mediation conducted by the Dispute Resolution Branch (DRB), Department of Justice and Attorney-General (JAG).

1. Definitions

Justice mediation - a meeting between an offender and a victim to determine ways in which the offender can make amends.

Victim - refer Criminal Offence Victims Act 1995, s. 5

2. Process

The DRB will facilitate the justice mediation process (refer Dispute Resolution Centre Act 1990 (DRCA).

Participation in justice mediation is voluntary and no person can be forced or coerced into mediation (refer DRCA s. 31).

An offender must admit guilt and take responsibility for the offence/s for which he/she has been convicted before he/she can be considered for participation in the justice mediation process.

When an offender considers justice mediation a corrective services officer must advise the offender that participation will not influence offender management decision making, including sentence management and applications for community based release.

If an offender is considered to be at risk of self-harm at any stage during the mediation process, refer procedure - At-Risk Management (Self Harm/Suicide).

Mediation may be conducted in person, by teleconference or by video conference.

2.1 Confidentiality

DRB information and documentation in relation to justice mediation should be treated as confidential. Parties who wish to publicise their experience in mediation should obtain the consent of all other parties, including the DRB and the Department.

Refer DRCA s. 37; Corrective Services Act 2006, s. 341; procedures - Disclosure of Confidential Information; Media Access and Public Speaking Engagements

3. Application for Justice Mediation

3.1 Initiating an application

If an offender or victim wishes to apply for justice mediation, he/she must write to the Justice Mediation Coordinator (Coordinator), DRB.

The Coordinator will write to the Director, Office of the Commissioner to advise that an application has been received.

3.2 Consultation

The Director, Office of the Commissioner must provide the Coordinator with relevant information in relation to -

  1. sentence details;
  2. the general manager/regional manager responsible for supervision of the offender; and
  3. whether the offender -

    1. has outstanding court matters or is facing further charges;
    2. has lodged an appeal against any conviction relevant to the mediation; or
    3. any other relevant factors (for example, special circumstances pertaining to the offence or offence history).

The Director, Office of the Commissioner must advise the relevant general manager / regional manager -

  1. that the offender has made a request for justice mediation;
  2. that the Coordinator has been provided with contact details for the general manager / regional manager; and
  3. that the Coordinator will contact the general manager/regional manager in relation to the provision of a nominated liaison officer.

The Director, Office of the Commissioner, following consultation with the general manager/regional manager, may advise the Coordinator if safety, security or management issues relevant to justice mediation proceedings exist.

4. Assessment process

4.1 Security clearance

In relation to obtaining security clearance for the Coordinator and any support persons prior to entering a corrective services facility, refer procedures - Visitors to a Facility (Excluding Personal Visitors); Personal Identification.

4.2 Suitability assessment

The Coordinator, when assessing the suitability of parties to participate in justice mediation will consult with -

  1. the nominated liaison officer; and/or
  2. the offender's supervising officer; and/or
  3. any other nominated officer/s (eg facilitator of Violence Intervention Program).

Consultation will consider the potential impact of justice mediation on the offender and any concerns regarding the suitability of the offender for the mediation process.

If the case is considered inappropriate for justice mediation, the Coordinator will advise the Director, Office of the Commissioner and other relevant parties.

4.3 Decision to proceed

If the Coordinator decides to proceed with justice mediation, the Coordinator will facilitate a meeting to provide an overview of the justice mediation process with -

  1. the offender;
  2. the nominated liaison officer; and
  3. any other nominated officer/s (for example, facilitator of Violence Intervention Program).

For offender-initiated justice mediation requests, the Coordinator will contact and seek consent from the other party to the mediation.

For victim-initiated requests, the Coordinator will confer with the nominated liaison officer to establish an agreed process for justice mediation. The Coordinator, in the presence of the nominated liaison officer, will then advise the offender, in person, of the agreed process.

4.4 Completion of relevant forms

In order to participate in justice mediation an offender is required to complete the relevant forms as provided by DRB.

4.5 Assessment of support persons

The Coordinator will assess the suitability of nominated support persons for both victims and offenders. The Coordinator may request relevant information in relation to the nominated support persons from the nominated liaison officer (for example, if the offender's nominated support person is a regular visitor to the facility). The nominated support person must not be a prisoner.

Refer procedures - Personal Visitors to Offenders; Personal Identification

5. Offender support services

If justice mediation is to proceed, the general manager/district manager must ensure that case management processes are utilised to enable the effective provision of appropriate emotional and psychological support services to the offender.

In a corrective services facility, the general manager must arrange de-briefing for the offender.

6. Secure custody

Refer procedures - Visitors to a Facility (Excluding Personal Visitors); Personal Identification

When justice mediation is held in a corrective services facility, the nominated liaison officer must arrange for a suitable venue. The officer must ensure that if required, teleconference or videoconference equipment is available, if the facility has these resources.

The venue must be able to hold six people and be within observation range, but beyond hearing range, of a corrective services officer. It is preferable that the venue is equipped with video surveillance equipment and that tea/coffee is available.

A mediation conference must be considered a professional visit rather than a prisoner's personal visit.

7. Evaluation of justice mediation

Upon completion of the justice mediation process, the offender is invited to complete an evaluation form.

The Coordinator will provide advice in writing on the completion and/or closure of the mediation process to the Director, Office of the Commissioner.





F P Rockett
Director-General





Version History

28/08/2006 Version 03 - 22/02/2005 Version 02 - 10/12/2001 Version 00 [Victim Offender Mediation]