Victoria Introduces Bill for Ongoing Detention or Supervision of Serious Offenders

Thursday 10 May 2018 @ 12.01 p.m. | Crime | Legal Research

The Victorian Government has introduced the Serious Offenders Bill 2018 (VIC) (‘the Bill’) on 8 May 2018 in the House of Assembly.  This Bill aims to provide enhanced protections for the community by requiring certain serious offenders to be subject to ongoing detention or supervision.

Main Amendments

The Bill proposes to:

  • Establish a civil protective scheme under which offenders who have served custodial sentences for certain serious sex offences and violence offences and who present an unacceptable risk to the community can be made subject to ongoing detention or supervision;
  • Repeal the Serious Sex Offenders (Detention and Supervision) Act 2009 (VIC) and replace that repealed Act with an expansion of the post-sentencing scheme to protect the community from serious interpersonal harm;
  • Give effect to the recommendations noted from the 'Review of Complex Adult Victim Sex Offender Management 'on improving the legislative framework, operational decision making and case management between the criminal justice and mental health service systems in relation to complex adult victim sex offenders.

This Bill also includes the following changes from the superseded Serious Sex Offenders (Detention and Supervision) Act 2009 (VIC) to:

  • Include new requirements for core conditions on orders made by a Court under the Bill and include powers for the Courts to prohibit the possession or use of firearms;
  • Expand eligibility for the post-sentencing scheme to offenders who have been convicted and sentenced for certain serious violence offences in a higher court;
  • Create new Emergency Detention Orders to provide for an additional mechanism for managing a supervision order offender;
  • Establish a secure residential treatment facility to provide intensive treatment and supervision to offenders that are an unacceptable risk of reoffending.

Media Response

In a media release, the Minister for Corrections and Minister for Training and Skills, Gayle Tierney stated:

“Serious violent offenders captured under the new scheme include those convicted of murder, manslaughter, child homicide, causing serious injury intentionally in circumstances of gross violence, causing serious injury recklessly in circumstances of gross violence, causing serious injury (recklessly or intentionally), kidnapping and arson causing death.”

She also provided more information on the placement of post-sentence offenders and the new emergency detention order power:

“The new laws will also:
- Allow for the placement of post-sentence offenders at a new secure facility that is currently under construction in Ararat. Located next to Hopkins Correctional Centre, the facility will provide intensive treatment and interventions for up to 20 supervision order offenders and is due to open later this year.
- Create a new emergency detention order power, allowing supervision order offenders to be detained in prison for up to seven days if they pose an imminent risk of committing a serious sex or violent offence where their behaviour or circumstances change suddenly, even if they haven’t breached a condition of their order.”

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Serious Offenders Bill 2018 (VIC), and explanatory memorandum, as published on TimeBase LawOne.

[media release] Minister for Corrections, ‘New Laws To Protect Victorians From Violent Offenders,’ 8 May 2018.

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