Use this procedure for young people transferring from a youth justice precinct to prison.

 

When to use this procedure

When case managing a young person who is being considered for transfer from a youth justice precinct to adult prison.

 

What else you need to know

 

Practice context and legislation

  • Young people who have been sentenced by the children’s court should not be transferred to prison except in circumstances of extreme behaviour.
  • On occasion, however, some young people are deemed to be unsuitable to continue to serve their sentence in a youth justice precinct.
  • In these cases, the Secretary of the Department of Human Services can make an application to the Youth Parole Board (the board) for those aged 16 years or more to be transferred to an adult prison for the remainder of their sentence.
  • Section 467(1) of the Children Youth and Families Act 2005 allows the Youth Parole Board to direct a person aged 16 years or more to be transferred from a youth justice precinct to a prison to serve the unexpired portion of the period of his or her detention as imprisonment. The board will take into consideration the young person’s history, behaviour and other issues such as their level of maturity and length of sentence.
  • Additionally, under s. 468(1) a young person aged 16 years or more may apply to the board to be transferred to a prison to serve the remainder of their sentence as imprisonment.
  • Section 473 of the Act provides that a person transferred from prison to a youth justice precinct may be transferred back to prison.
  • The board must be satisfied that the young person’s behaviour threatens the good order and safe operation of the youth justice precinct and they cannot be properly controlled there.
  • The board expects that this policy is applied to all applications for transfer regardless of age or sentencing court in both the children’s and adult jurisdictions.
  • Consideration should also be given to the Convention on Rights of the Child, and standards contained in the Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (the ‘Beijing Rules’), Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of Liberty and Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners.
 

Roles and key tasks

Case manager

  • Participate in care team meetings and provide consultation prior to any transfers being initiated.

Team leader / team manager

  • Provide guidance and consultation in relation to the suitability of the transfer.
  • Liaise with Youth Justice Senior Practice Adviser.

Assistant Director / Manager Individual and Family Support

  • 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

  • Prior to the transfer, consult with case manager and care team.
  • Provide case consultation, particularly in relation to 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

Section 467 or s. 473 transfer application

Sections 467 and 473 applications are initiated by youth justice precinct staff, and require an application by the Secretary to the Youth Parole Board.

All s. 467 applications for young people sentenced through the children’s court and all s. 473 applications for transfer must be supported by a report from the department, regardless of age or sentencing jurisdiction.

Section 468 transfer applications

Section 468 applications are initiated by the young person (aged 16 years or older).

A young person who applies to the board for transfer must appear in person before the board to support their application.

Section 468 applications for transfer must be supported by a report from the department.

Reasons for a transfer application

Section 467 and 473 applications may be initiated if a young person is involved in a serious incident and/or when actions taken to avoid the need to transfer have not been successful.

Reasons for s. 468 applications may include:

  • a young person believing they have outgrown the support, programs and supervision provided in the youth justice precinct
  • wanting to be with family who are in prison
  • belief that a transfer may result in them being moved to a prison located closer to their place of origin, enabling them to be more accessible for visits from family and others.

Section 467 and 473 transfers – young people sentenced by a children’s court

Applications for ss. 467 and 473 transfers for those sentenced in a children’s court must only be used as a last resort taking into account the human rights of the young person and when all other options for managing the young person’s behaviour at the Parkville and Malmsbury Youth Justice Precincts have been exhausted.

This includes options to alter the environment that may be contributing to or triggering extreme behaviour, as well as personalised interventions.

Section 467 and 473 transfers – young people sentenced by an adult court

The board has the power to direct a young person to be transferred to prison if it considers it appropriate, having regard to the antecedents and behaviour of the young person.

The board has discretion to use broader considerations, apart from the young person’s behaviour, in its decision making.

Extreme behaviour could be a factor leading to transfer, but other issues such as the young person’s age, level of maturity and/or length of the unexpired portion of the sentence may be the primary reason/s for a transfer in some cases.

The application report from the Secretary should include information about all of the above factors.

Prior to an application to transfer (ss. 467, 468 and 473 transfers)

Youth Justice Custodial Services has primary case management responsibility for young people in custody.

Client service planning for young people with complex needs often involves several program areas and organisations that independently deliver support and services to a young person.

When incidents occur that indicate an escalation of serious behaviour, the youth justice precinct worker must arrange to bring the care team together.

The care team approach will trigger support to the young person and to custodial staff to manage the young person in the precinct.

This may involve placement in the intensive therapeutic unit at the Parkville Precinct.

The relevant community youth justice worker should be included in any care team meetings and must be consulted prior to any transfer application.

For young people under 18 years and sentenced by a children’s court, prior to making an application to the board, consultation must be undertaken with a:

  • Youth Justice Senior Practice Advisor
  • practitioner from the Office of Professional Practice.

If the young person is under 18 and subject to a child protection order, in addition to the principal practitioner child protection and youth justice being consulted, the community child protection area manager should also be consulted.

Youth justice precinct staff should advise the board, through the Secretary, that a transfer application is being considered.

Consensus required in application report

As delegates of the Secretary, a single view regarding a young person must be represented in the application report.

This requires a unified message, on behalf of the department, as agreed by all departmental program areas consulted during the preparation of the application report.

Factors to be assessed

It is important for youth justice precinct management to take an objective and balanced approach to identifying and considering all the factors that are relevant to a decision to seek to transfer a young person to prison.

The decision to seek a transfer should take into account the:

  • age and maturity of the young person
  • potential harm of prison incarceration
  • behaviour of the young person in the youth justice precinct
  • reasonable steps that have been taken to maintain the young person in youth justice centre
  • advice of the youth justice senior practice adviser and Office of Professional Practice (when the young person is under 18 or a child protection client) likely conditions for the young person if prison transfer occurs and how this will impact on their rights.

Incident reports

If the trigger to transfer is the young person’s involvement in a serious incident, information regarding the incident should be available on the young person’s CRIS file as per departmental incident reporting guidelines.

Application report to the board

Youth justice precinct staff undertake consultation and prepare the application report to the board.

The youth justice precinct general manager (or delegate) oversees this task.

The application report must take into account the age and maturity of the young person, the potential harm of incarceration in prison and the behaviour of the young person in the youth justice precinct.

In preparing advice for the board regarding the transfer, the Charter must always be considered and the least restrictive means of limiting the child’s rights must be applied.

Application reports for ss. 467 and 473 applications regarding young people under 18 years, and those sentenced through the children’s court, must present strong evidence of very serious behaviour that cannot be controlled or effectively managed in the youth justice precinct.

The application report must outline the steps taken to manage the young person’s behaviour to avoid the need to transfer to prison.

The application report must document the involvement of the Chief Practitioner, Child Protection and Youth Justice.

Outcomes from these consultations must be referenced in the application report to the board.

For young people sentenced by an adult court through the dual-track system, advice to the board must reference how considerations outlined in s. 32(1)(a) and (b) of the Sentencing Act 1991 are contra-indicated when the suitability assessment tool is applied, taking into account the relevant Charter rights.

Application report template and CRIS recording

The application report should use the template in CRIS and a signed copy attached to the clients CRIS file.

Informing the young person’s family or guardian

The young person’s family or guardian should be notified of the application to transfer and the reasons why transfer is being considered.

The person responsible for this should be determined by the care team.

Following a transfer to prison, it is the responsibility of the General Manager of the youth justice precinct to inform the young person’s parent or guardian that they have been transferred.

This should occur as soon as practicable.

Approval/endorsement level required

An application to the board to transfer a young person to prison is a serious step which, in effect, seeks to vary a court order.

The application and application report to the board for transfer to prison must be approved by the Executive Director North Division.

If the young person is under 18 years and/or a child protection client, the application report, giving due consideration to the best interests of the young person and protection of their rights, must be co-signed by the Director, Statutory and Forensic Services Design.

Information sharing with Corrections Victoria

If a young person is transferred to prison, it is the responsibility of Youth Justice Custodial Services to ensure that relevant case management information is provided to Corrections Victoria.

Exchange of information between the department and Corrections Victoria is guided by a memorandum of understanding.

 

Additional information

  • Memorandum of understanding between youth justice and Corrections Victoria (intranet only)
  • Policy informing the transfer from a youth justice centre to prison (176.5 KB, MS WORD)
  • Youth justice custodial practice manual (intranet only)