The Authority’s chair, Michele Williams QC notes in her opening message that despite an increasing workload coupled with the challenges associated with the remote working environment, the Authority had continued to operate in an efficient and cohesive manner.
“The Authority maintained its hearing schedule without interruption, and it reviewed significantly more reports concerning serious offenders than in previous years.”
As at 30 June 2021, there were 142 serious offenders subject to a post sentence order. Of these offenders, 104 are serious sex offenders, 17 are serious violent offenders and 21 are both serious sex and serious violent offenders.
The report details an increase in the number of reports received from Corrections Victoria. The Authority convened 182 meetings to monitor and review offenders. This resulted in the issuing of 680 directions to offenders to help facilitate their effective management in the community. The Authority also conducted 126 interviews with 94 offenders, to discuss their compliance and treatment, and to discuss their progress against the conditions of their supervision orders. Both directions and interviews during this period were significantly more than previously reported in 2019-20.
The effectiveness of the post sentence scheme in protecting the community is demonstrated by the vigilance that is applied to monitoring Serious Offenders. This has resulted in the Authority being able to report a low rate of serious re-offending by offenders subject to a post sentence order. In 2020-21 there were three convictions for non-contact offences. Further, the Courts revoked the orders for two offenders and allowed eight orders to expire, the Court being satisfied the offenders no longer posed an unacceptable risk to the community.
Whilst discussing the challenges in monitoring serious violent offenders who are entering the post sentence scheme. Ms Williams states, “violent offenders struggle to reside independently in the community and maintain compliance with their orders. They are over-represented in the reports that the Authority receives about offender behaviour, risk, and compliance, and the Authority applies an even more intensive approach when monitoring violent offenders to help prevent reoffending.” In comparison to the previous reporting period, the number of serious violent offenders increased by 21%, and account for 41% of all incident reports received by the Authority. The challenges encountered by the Authority are further discussed in the report and illustrated through a case study on page 39.