This procedure describes the responsibilities of area case managers relating to the temporary leave program for young people in youth justice precincts.

 

When to use this procedure

When a young person is being considered for or has been granted a temporary leave of absence from a youth justice precinct.

 

What else you need to know

 

Practice context and legislation

  • Temporary leave is a time-limited leave of absence from a youth justice precinct.
  • While on leave, the young person must carry a leave permit authorising their absence from the precinct.
  • The young person is considered to be in legal custody while they are on leave.
  • Temporary leave is a central component of the rehabilitation of young people in youth justice precincts.
  • It provides opportunities for young people to gradually re-enter the community before their release and enables them to maintain or develop relationships with their family and other supports.
  • The temporary leave program operates within a risk management framework. The risk assessment and plan (RAP) for temporary leave weighs up the young person’s suitability for leave and plans to mitigate and manage risk.
  • Decisions about appropriateness of temporary leave must reflect the ramifications of the young person’s offence, the length of sentence, community safety issues, consideration of victims and risk mitigation measures.
  • Temporary leave occurs before a young person’s release from the youth justice precinct, either on parole or remissions, to engage with services that will provide support to them upon release.
  • Appointments may be made with health, employment, and drug and alcohol services, and the young person may attend appointments with the area case manager who will supervise their parole.
  • Temporary leave may also be used for the young person to visit family, attend a care team meeting or link with other community supports.
  • Temporary leave from custody is provided for in legislation under s. 485 of the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005.
 

Roles and key tasks

Area case manager

  • Ensure the CRIS case allocation page identifies you as the current area case manager.
  • Brief team leader on young person and the leave request.
  • Unless exceptional circumstances exist, provide input into risk assessment and plan at least five days prior to the leave occurring.
  • Facilitate communication between youth justice precinct staff and community based supports.
  • Schedule regular supervision with the young person during temporary leave periods.
  • Assist young people as required to attend appointments, including those that may constitute special conditions when parole is granted.
  • Maintain case notes and regular contact with the youth justice precinct worker regarding contact with the young person and their progress.
  • Report concerns and circumstances that may lead to cancellation of leave to team leader or team manager and the youth justice precinct worker.

Youth justice precinct key worker

  • On CRIS, action RAP for follow up to area case manager’s work list.
  • Email area case manager and their team leader: ‘Please give attention to RAP’.
  • Consult with other community-based supports regarding temporary leave arrangements.

Team leader / team manager

  • Team leader provides consultation and supervision to the area case manager about the proposed leave, as well as during leave.
  • Add further comments to risk assessment and plan where required.
  • Email youth justice precinct unit manager to advise that comments have been made on the risk assessment and plan.
  • Attend care team meetings when required.
  • Consult with other services on disputes that cannot be resolved within care teams.

Assistant Director / Manager Individual Family Support

  • Provide oversight, direction and monitoring of the area youth justice program.

Youth Justice Senior Practice Advisor

  • Provide case consultation, particularly in relation to high-risk young people, and dispute resolution in cases of disagreement within care teams. This should occur subject to local area agreements between Assistant Director / Manager Individual Family Support and the Senior Practice Advisor.
 

The procedure in detail

Timelines for temporary leave eligibility

Temporary leave for medical/treatment, compassionate or administration of justice purposes is not tied to the young person’s length of sentence, however other types of leave become available at different times depending on the length of sentence.

Refer to the Youth justice custodial practice manual for detailed information about sentence management timelines for temporary leave eligibility.

Young people on remand

Section 485 of the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 states that young people on remand may be given temporary leave.

However, in practice, young people on remand orders are generally not permitted temporary leave except in the event of a medical emergency.

In exceptional cases, young people on remand may be considered for escorted compassionate leave, escorted leave for the purpose of authorised police investigations or court authorised leave.

Young people on section 333 or 5A orders

Young people on sentence who are also on an order under section 333 of the Criminal Procedures Act 2009or section 5A of the Bail Act 1997 are eligible to be assessed for temporary leave.

Types of temporary leave

Sentenced young people can be assessed for various types of leave as follows:

  • to maintain or re-establish family and community links
  • for employment, education or training (including the pre-release program)
  • for sporting, recreational or community service involvement
  • for medical or treatment purposes
  • compassionate leave
  • for the administration of justice
  • interstate leave
  • special cultural or religious leave.

For detailed descriptions and conditions of each type of leave, refer to the Youth justice custodial practice manual.

For eligible young people, special leave may be granted for Christmas, Easter and other holidays of religious or cultural importance.

Special leave can be granted for a period of three days plus travel, with a maximum of four days.

This equates to 96 hours in total.

For special leave, a young person can only go on unescorted leave if they have successfully completed it in the past.

Pre-release leave is expressly for young people who undertake a minimum of 20 hours of employment or structured vocational activities per week.

Pre-release leave arrangements should be jointly developed by precinct and area case managers.

As with all temporary leave, the youth justice precinct retains legal responsibility during pre-release leave.

Consultation between area case managers and youth justice precinct workers

Temporary leave arrangements must be discussed between the community and youth justice precinct workers prior to the leave commencing.

Workers should discuss the type of leave being proposed, the purpose of the leave and any identified risk factors.

In most cases, the area case manager will have previous information to draw upon regarding the young person’s risk and case management needs.

The area case manager must regularly supervise the young person during any leave periods.

This collaboration will establish the basis for a positive transition to parole.

The area case manager provides support to the young person while on leave, and assists them to build their relationship with their family and other supports.

The area case manager must maintain case notes and regular contact with the youth justice precinct worker regarding contact with the young person and their progress.

This information is essential for the development of their parole plan.

The area case manager must report concerns and circumstances that may lead to cancellation of leave to their team leader or team manager and the youth justice precinct worker.

The area case manager will facilitate communication between youth justice precinct staff and other community based workers, and ensure youth justice precinct workers are given contact details of other relevant community based workers, including child protection and disability client services workers, if relevant.

This is because all leave arrangements for young people subject to a child protection order must be discussed and negotiated with the area child protection worker by the youth justice precinct worker.

Similarly, the youth justice precinct worker must discuss temporary leave arrangements for young people registered with disability services with their area disability client services worker.

Risk assessment and plan for temporary leave

The temporary leave program operates within a risk management framework.

In custody, all young people are assessed and categorised into one of three security categories and each has specific approval levels and requirements in relation to the level of escort required.

In most circumstances there is no requirement to notify police of a young person’s leave from custody.

Every effort should be made to ensure that co-offenders do not participate in temporary leave at the same time or in the same geographical area.

At a minimum, separate travel arrangements must be made.

The youth justice precinct worker is responsible for writing the temporary leave risk assessment and plan (RAP). It includes comments from relevant consultations and must include input from the allocated area case manager in the community and/or their team leader.

The RAP is a guided, professional decision-making tool designed to enable consistent, structured, evidence-based decision making.

It outlines support networks in the young person’s life and details their progress in the youth justice precinct in accordance with the Promoting Positive Behaviour program, as described in the Youth justice custodial practie manual.

Key factors considered in the leave process include:

  • offences and any matters outstanding
  • relevant behaviour, including in custody and breaches
  • individual characteristics, such as benefits of leave, victim awareness
  • other relevant information to risk, such as availability of supports.

Authorisation for leave

Authorisation and responsibility for temporary leave is vested in Youth Justice Secure Services.

The young person is considered to be in legal custody for the duration of the period they are on leave.

For information on the level of authorisation required for various leaves, refer to the risk assessment and plan (RAP) or the Youth justice custodial practice manual.

Depending on the type of leave and the category or level of the young person, the authorisation process requires sign off and comments as follows:

  • Area case manager ensures the CRIS case allocation page identifies them as the additionally assigned case manager, so that the youth justice precinct worker can directly contact them to discuss and plan proposed temporary leave.
  • Youth justice precinct key worker develops the RAP, in consultation with the area case manager and other community based workers.
  • Youth justice precinct unit coordinator reviews the RAP.
  • Youth justice precinct unit manager approves the RAP and actions for follow up to allocated area case manager and area team leader’s work lists.
  • Youth justice precinct unit manager alerts area case manager and area team leader by emailing: ‘Please give attention to RAP’. This alerts the case manager and team leader that the RAP is on their work list, if they do not have immediate access to CRIS. The correspondence with two area workers also acts as a backup if the area case manager is away.
  • Area case manager briefs their team leader on the young person, circumstances of the leave and issues of concern.
  • Area case manager creates new document version in CRIS, adds comments in relevant consultations section. Case manager generates document and actions to their team leader for follow-up. Area team leader provides comments. Unless exceptional circumstances exist, input from case manager and team leader must occur at least five days prior to the leave occurring.
  • If comments are not timely, unit manager must follow up for input from area case manager and, at a minimum, use verbal quotes from phone consultation.
  • Youth justice precinct general manager endorses the RAP.
  • Director, Secure Services endorses the RAP if required.

Leave permits

Young people leaving the youth justice precinct on the temporary leave program will be issued with a leave permit.

The permit must be carried at all times until the young persons return to the precinct.

Offences related to temporary leave

Any breach of leave conditions is an offence and on this basis the police can arrest and charge a young person.

Consequences for breaches of leave conditions are determined on an individual basis depending on the type and seriousness of the breach.

Cancellation of leave

Temporary leave may be cancelled at any time during the period of leave under s. 485(6) of the Children Youth and Families Act.

The cancellation takes effect from the end of the day on which the young person is informed of the cancellation.

Circumstances that may require temporary leave being cancelled include the young person:

  • not abiding by their leave conditions
  • engaging in offensive comments, violence or verbal or physical sexualised behaviour
  • suspected of being substance affected
  • subject to a medical emergency
  • assessed as potentially unsafe or subject to immediate danger.
  • alleged to have offended.

If an area case manager is aware of any circumstances which might warrant the cancellation of leave, after consultation with line management, they must immediately inform the youth justice precinct unit coordinator.

 

Additional information

  • Youth justice custodial practice manual (intranet only)