Use this procedure in relation to breaching or cancelling a young person’s parole when they have re-offended.
When to use this procedure
When supervising a young person who has re-offended while subject to a youth parole order.
What else you need to know
Practice context and legislation
- Parole provides an opportunity for young people to gradually integrate with the community in a planned way with support and supervision. The young person remains under the jurisdiction of the Youth Parole Board (the board) until the conclusion of their sentence of detention.
- Parole can only be granted by the board to young people who are 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 serves the remaining portion of their sentence in the community under the supervision of a parole officer.
- The board takes parole breaches very seriously. Prompt action must taken if a young person on parole re-offends. However, being charged with an offence while subject to parole is not in itself a breach. The breach occurs when a young person has appeared before the court and is found guilty. In some cases, it may be appropriate for youth justice to request a cancellation of parole if a young person is charged with alleged re-offending. Conversely, in some cases of proven re-offending the board may decide not to breach a young person’s parole order.
- Sections 456 and 460 of the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 provide the board with the authority to cancel parole orders and issue warrants.
- There is an important disctinction between a 'breach' of parole and 'cancellation' of parole. Failure to comply with 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 youth justice precinct.
- The board may request another parole plan, and decide to re-release a young person on parole after their parole has been cancelled. Alternatively, the board may revoke the cancellation, with the effect of reviving the parole order.
- Breaching or cancelling a young person’s parole order due to re-offending is an important step in an ongoing rehabilitation process. In many cases, young people involved with youth justice have not experienced a life with reasonable and consistent boundaries imposed on them. Any messages given to the young person by the board on the day of parole about further offending should be reinforced by consequences carried out by youth justice.
- While it is important that young people be given the opportunity to complete their sentence under supervision in the community, it is also important that the community has confidence that youth justice will make appropriate decisions about young people who re-offend while subject to the conditions of 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 a report, to be written by the case manager.
- Liaise with line management and consult with Youth Justice Senior Practice Advisor in relation to request for cancellation.
Team leader / team manager
- Consult with the case manager as necessary.
- Issue warnings where appropriate.
- Provide guidance and endorsement in relation to the breach report.
Assistant Director / Manager Individual and Family Support
- Authorise requests for cancellation.
- Provide oversight, direction and monitoring of the area youth justice service.
- Provide case consultation regarding young people exhibiting high-risk behaviours.
Youth Justice Senior Practice Advisor
- Provide case consultation for 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
- Young person on parole is charged by police
- If the young person is bailed or to be charged on summons
- If the young person is charged and remanded to a youth justice precinct
- If the young person is charged and remanded to an adult prison
- Section 49 adjournment
- Section 5A of the Bail Act 1977
- At court
- Following court
- If an adult prison sentence is received
Young person on parole is charged by police
When a young person on parole is charged by police the parole officer may be informed by:
- the young person themselves
- a youth justice court advice worker
- the police
- the young person’s legal representative
- a youth justice or adult custodial facility if the young person is remanded.
Being charged with an offence while subject to a parole order does not necessarily constitute a breach of parole until the charge is proven in court.
When a young person on parole is charged, the parole officer must:
- notify the team leader and/or area manager
- notify the board via the next scheduled progress report
- record all details of the alleged offence and pending court details on the Client Relationship Information System (CRIS).
In some cases, the team leader or manager may determine that the Youth Parole Board (the board) should be informed of the alleged re-offending before the submission of the progress report. In these instances, the team leader or parole officer may contact the secretary of the board directly.
If the young person is bailed or to be charged on summons
If the young person is bailed or to be charged on summons, the parole officer:
- continues to supervise parole as per core and special conditions
- assists the young person to seek legal advice and support for pending court appearances
- supports the young person to abide by any bail conditions.
Without discussing details of the alleged re-offending, the parole officer can address any matters that may relate to the young person being charged and can help the young person to develop strategies to deal with these.
In cases where parole finishes before charges are dealt with by the court, this still constitutes a breach of parole, as the offending occurred during the parole period.
The parole officer must inform the board of the court outcome, even if the parole order is no longer active. The board may deal with the breach or take no action.
If the young person is charged and remanded to a youth justice precinct
If the young person is remanded in a custodial precinct, the parole officer will be notified by either a custodial worker or via their 'worklist' in CRIS.
When a young person on parole is remanded it is the responsibility of the precinct to inform the board.
Following an admission to custody, at the next scheduled board meeting the board will request a report in order to determine more information about the client's alleged re-offending. In many instances, the board will request a report from both the region and the custody precinct.
If the board requests a breach report recommending that parole be cancelled, the parole officer must ensure the report makes a recommendation regarding credits for any successful time the young person served prior to the cancellation.
The board may decide not to take any action on the young person’s parole order until the charges have been resolved in court. In these cases, the parole will run concurrently with any period of remand.
If the young person is charged and remanded to an adult prison
If the young person is remanded in police cell or adult prison, the parole officer locates the young person, and obtains information about where the young person is likely to serve their remand period.
The parole officer contacts the court advice worker or the young person’s legal representative to verify the charges and return court date. This information must then be provided to the board by contacting the secretary.
The parole officer must also:
- consult with the team leader or manager about informing the board of the young person’s remand
- prepare any documentation or information for the board as required
- record all information in CRIS.
Section 49 adjournment
In cases of adult remand, if the court adjourns the case under s. 49 of the Magistrates' Court Act 1989(magistrates' court) or section 5A of Bail Act 1977 (County and Supreme Courts), the court can direct the young person to be returned to a youth justice precinct.
The legislation gives courts the power to return a young person to a youth justice precinct if they are currently undergoing a sentence of detention. In order for the court to make such a direction, the young person’s parole order must be cancelled by the board.
Section 49/5A applications generally take place shortly after a young person has been charged and remanded. In many cases, the application is made by the young person’s legal representative on the basis that the young person would be vulnerable to the experience of serving time in an adult facility.
Timelines are often tight with s. 49/5A applications and the parole officer must, therefore, liaise with the young person’s legal representative and ensure that the following has occurred:
- team leader, manager and senior practice advisor consulted and a decision made to request that the board cancel the young person’s parole
- obtain the authorisation of the Assistant Director / Manager Individual and Family Support to cancel the young person’s parole
- parole officer, team leader or manager to contact the secretary of the boards and request the cancellation
- parole officer to provide any documentation requested by the boards.
If the board makes the decision to cancel the young person’s parole, the parole officer can inform the legal representative who can then proceed with the s. 49/5A application.
After the court grants the application, the young person will be returned to the youth justice precinct from which they were paroled.
Section 5A of the Bail Act 1977
In the County and Supreme Courts, a s. 49 application to return a young person to a youth justice centre is made under s. 5A of the Bail Act 1977.
When a youth justice centre sentence expires
If a young person is in a youth justice precinct on a s. 49/5A order and their sentence, including cancellation of parole, expires before the court return date, the young person must apply for and be granted bail or be transferred to adult remand.
If a young person on remand seeks to make a bail application, the parole officer must adhere to the instructions in supervision of bail.
When a young person returns to court, if the parole officer cannot attend, they are to brief the appropriate court advice worker about the young person’s circumstances.
Once the outcome of the court case is known, the worker must inform the board and make a recommendation about what action should be taken in relation to the re-offending (if proven).
Appropriate recommendations include:
- that the board takes no action
- that the board cancels the young person’s parole.
If the recommendation is to cancel a young person’s parole, the worker can ask the board to deem some of the young person’s time on parole as successful time served and credit them with a specific number of days, weeks or months.
This must be validated by an accurate record in CRIS of all appointments the young person has attended.
Another option for managing a young person re-offending is a board warning.
In these cases, the board may not breach the young person’s parole.
The authorisation of the Assistant Director / Manager Individual and Family Support is required for either a warning or breach action.
If an adult prison sentence is received
If a young person on parole receives a prison sentence during the operational period of their order, the parole officer must make a recommendation to the board about the balance of the unexpired sentence, and whether it should be transferred to penal or not.
- Children Youth and Families Act 2005
- Considerations to proceed to breach action (intranet only) (29.5 KB, MS WORD)