A Liberal Nationals Government will make necessary changes to the Corrections Act 1986 and relevant regulations to mandate that the number of Adult Parole Board members sitting at each Board meeting for general offenders and tier 1 meetings for serious violent or sexual offenders (SVOSO) meetings, be increased by one member, with the additional member directly being a victim of crime or victims’ representative community member.
Further, the additional sitting Board member will be drawn from the pool of community members, the composition of which will be revised to ensure that at least one-third of members will be victims or victims’ representatives.
Victims of crime have been appointed to the Adult Parole Board (APB) in the past on an ad-hoc basis, including such well-known victims as Carmel Arthur (whose appointment has now expired).
To date, the number of victims of crime who are members of the APB has waxed and waned on the whim of the government of the day.
Board meetings are held most weekdays, and special Board meetings can convene after hours on weekends and public holidays as required.
• General offenders – Panel sittings comprise a judicial member, who is the presiding chair, a full-time member and a community member (3 members).
• SVOSO Division tier 2 – Panel sittings comprise of the Chairperson and one of the full-time members. (2 members).
For prisoners categorised as Serious Violent Offenders or Sexual Offenders (SVOSO), a general Board panel considers whether to recommend parole. The SVOSO Division will then consider whether to grant or deny parole. The two-tiered decision-making process provides a higher level of scrutiny before parole is granted to serious offenders.
Comments attributable to Leader of the Opposition, Matthew Guy:
“My Victims of Crime consultative committee is formed from men and women who have lived the most awful experiences. One thing they have told me is that victims deserve a voice when parole is considered.
That’s why a Liberal Nationals government will also ensure that all parole hearings will have a victims’ representative on them.
It’s about time – because victims deserve to have their voices heard.”
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Police, Edward O’Donohue
“Under a Guy Government, victims of crime and their interests will be at the centre of the justice system.
While Daniel Andrews has failed to appoint enough victims of crime or their representatives to the Adult Parole Board, a Guy Government will fix this.”