Use this procedure in relation to breaching or cancelling a young person’s parole if they are failing to comply with their order.
When to use this procedure
When a young person subject to a youth parole order is in breach of their order by non-compliance.
What else you need to know
Practice context and legislation
- Parole is not an order made by the court. Parole can only be granted by the Youth Parole Board (the board) to young people undergoing a sentence in a youth justice precinct. A parole order is the community-based component of a custodial sentence imposed by a court.
- During the period of parole, the custodial sentence remains ongoing and the young person is ordered to serve the remaining portion of their sentence in the community under youth justice supervision. This enables gradual reintegration of the young person into the community in a planned way with support and supervision. The young person remains under the jurisdiction of the board until the conclusion of their sentence of detention.
- Prompt action must be taken if a young person on parole fails to comply with the entire core and special conditions of their parole. Inform young people that consequences include instigation of the warning process and possible return to custody.
- It is important to understand the difference in terminology between a breach of parole and cancellation of parole. Failure to comply with any conditions of a parole order places a young person in breach of parole. The board may take action in relation to the breach by cancelling the young person’s parole and ordering that they be returned to a custodial precinct. This may be done quickly between scheduled meetings dates.
- Sections 456 and 460 of the Children Youth and Families Act 2005 provide for the circumstances under which the board may cancel a client's parole order and execute warrants.
- Cancellation of a parole order may result in the issuing of a warrant for the arrest of the young person, who may then be apprehended by police and returned to a youth justice precinct. Unless otherwise ordered by the board, any time the young person has spent on parole will not be regarded as time served, and the young person will have to serve the balance of their sentence of detention (known as the unexpired portion).
- The board may request another parole plan, and re-release the young person on parole after their parole has been cancelled. The board may also order a revocation of the cancellation, with the effect of reviving the parole order.
- Breaching or cancelling a young person’s parole order due to non-compliance can be an important step in their rehabilitation. In many cases, a young people involved with youth justice have not had reasonable and consistent boundaries imposed on them. Messages given to the young person by the board on the day of parole about non-compliance must be reinforced by consequences carried out by youth justice.
- Taking prompt and decisive action reinforces the goal of reducing the young person’s risk of reoffending and maximises rehabilitation while also engendering public support of youth justice practice.
- It is important that a young person is given the opportunity to complete their sentence by reintegrating into society, but the community must also have faith that youth justice will make appropriate decisions about young people who do not comply with the conditions of their parole.
Roles and key tasks
- Case manager
- Team leader / team manager
- Assistant Director / Manager Individual and Family Support
- Youth Justice Senior Practice Advisor
- Complete the warning process.
- Initiate breach action by contacting the board’s secretary.
- Undertake subsequent action as per instructions. This will generally include preparing a report.
- Liaise with line management and consult with Youth Justice Senior Practice Adviser as required.
Team leader / team manager
- Consult with the case manager.
- Issue warnings where appropriate.
- Provide guidance and endorsement in relation to the breach report.
Assistant Director / Manager Individual and Family Support
- Issue warnings where appropriate.
- Authorise requests for cancellation.
- Provide oversight, direction and monitoring of the area youth justice service.
- Provide case consultation for young people exhibiting high-risk behaviours.
Youth Justice Senior Practice Advisor
- Provide case consultation in relation to recommendations and breaches, particularly for high-risk young people. This should occur subject to local area agreements between Assistant Director / Manager Individual Family Support and the Senior Practice Advisor.
The procedure in detail
- Core conditions of parole
- Special conditions of parole
- Consequences of non-compliance
- Warning young people for non-compliance
- Continued non-compliance
- Action to request breach and cancellation
- Reports requesting breach and cancellation
- When parole is cancelled
- When the young person is returned to custody
- If the young person is re-paroled
Core conditions of parole
Ensure the young person understands the core and special conditions of their parole order.
A young person may need to be reminded about these conditions throughout the order.
Core conditions on every parole order are the same.
A young person:
- must not break any law
- must be supervised by a parole officer
- must obey any lawful instructions of the parole officer
- must report as and when reasonably directed by the parole officer
- may be interviewed by the parole officer at any reasonable time and place that the parole officer directs
- must advise the parole officer within two days after changing address
- must not leave Victoria without the written permission of the parole officer.
Special conditions of parole
Special conditions will vary between young people and are attached to individual parole orders at the discretion of the board.
Special conditions may include:
- to undergo medical, psychiatric, psychological or drug counselling or treatment
- to attend Male Adolescent Program for Positive Sexuality (MAPPS)
- any other condition the board considers necessary and appropriate.
Consequences of non-compliance
Ensure the young person understands the possible consequences of non-compliance with the conditions of parole.
Consequences may include:
- increase in reporting or supervision requirements
- instigation of the warning process
- breach of parole
- cancellation of parole and being returned to custody.
Warning young people for non-compliance
Refer to the procedure for ‘Warning process for young people on parole’.
If a young person progresses through the warning process and continues to fail to meet the conditions of parole, the parole officer may request that the board breach that young person’s parole and cancel the order.
The parole officer must consult with their team leader, team manager and Youth Justice Senior Practice Advisor about a request to cancel parole. The Assistant Director / Manager Individual and Family Support may authorise the request for a cancellation of parole if this decision is endorsed by the team manager.
Action to request breach and cancellation
There are two avenues available to a parole officer to request a breach and cancellation of parole:
- via a scheduled or non-scheduled report to the board
- via direct contact with the board’s secretary and then subsequent action as per instructions.
The most appropriate avenue will depend on whether or not the young person has recently appeared before the board for a warning and what the board has requested regarding any continued non-compliance.
The parole officer must consult their team leader regarding the most appropriate method of request.
Reports requesting breach and cancellation
Report templates can be found on the Client Relationship Information System (CRIS).
When requesting a breach or cancellation of parole, the report must recommend credits for any successful time the young person served prior to the cancellation, and comment on the young person’s suitability to be re-paroled if the board considers this appropriate.
When parole is cancelled
Once the board has cancelled a parole order, a warrant may be issued for the young person’s apprehension and return to the custodial precinct from which they were paroled.
Victoria Police is responsible for executing these warrants, but the parole officer may assist as appropriate by providing information about the young person’s possible whereabouts. Refer to the procedure for 'Privacy and information exchange' for more information.
When the young person is returned to custody
When a young person is returned to custody the parole officer will be informed via CRIS or custodial staff directly.
Depending upon the specific circumstances of the case, best practice encourages the parole officer to visit the young person in custody upon their return and discuss the reasons that led to the cancellation. The parole officer informs the young person that any consideration regarding them being re-paroled will be up to the board.
If the young person is re-paroled
If the board decides to re-parole the young person, the process of planning and release is the same as the initial parole procedures. Refer to procedures in chapter for 'Parole orders' for more information.