This website is for use by legal professionals (lawyers and law practices) only. If the information is used incorrectly, you could risk losing money or your legal rights. If you are a member of the public looking for free advice about your legal problems please visit legalaid.vic.gov.au, or contact our Legal Help advice line on 1300 792 387, Monday to Friday from 8 am to 6 pm. 

If you decide to use or rely on the information or make decisions based on the information in this website (which VLA does not recommend) VLA is not liable to you or any third party in any way for any loss, damage, costs or expenses you or they may suffer or incur as a result.

When orders and conditions can be made

What needs to be shown

Both extended supervision and detention orders require an unacceptable risk of re-offending. When hearing the application, the court has to be satisfied that:

  • there is sufficient evidence about the potential risk, and also
  • there is a high degree of probability (but the risk posed need not be more likely than not).

Detention orders cannot be made unless the court is satisfied that detention is the only option.

The court cannot consider how the risk will be managed or the likely impact of the order on the offender when it is determining the risk.

It is up to the Department of Justice and Community Safety (DJCS) for supervision orders and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for detention orders, to demonstrate that there is an unacceptable risk.

See s. 14, 62, 63, 64—Serious Offenders Act 2018 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Length of orders

A supervision order will:

  • last for a maximum period of 15 years
  • be reviewed at least every 3 years.

See ss. 19, 99—Serious Offenders Act 2018 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

A detention order will:

  • last for a maximum period of 3 years
  • be reviewed at least every year.

See ss. 69, 100—Serious Offenders Act 2018 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

The maximum time between the reviews is set out in the Act. The court can order that reviews are held more frequently than this.

When does the detention or supervision order begin?

If the person is serving their sentence when the supervision or detention order is made, the order will start on the day that their prison sentence has been completed. If the person is not in custody when the order is made, the order states on the date specified in the order.

See ss. 18, 68—Serious Offenders Act 2018 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Conditions attached to a supervision order

Conditions are imposed in a supervision order to reduce the risk that the offender will commit a serious sex or serious violent offence. They also address reasonable concerns of the offender's victim(s) for their own safety and welfare.

To reduce the risk of reoffending, the conditions may promote the offenders rehabilitation and treatment, specifically addressing types of behaviour that may:

  • increase the likelihood that the offender may commit another serious offence, or
  • engage in behaviour that threatens the safety of any other person (including the offender themselves).

See s. 30—Serious Offenders Act 2018 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

There are 2 categories of conditions:

  • core conditions (which apply to everyone who is subject to a supervision order), and
  • other non-core conditions (tailored to the needs of the particular offender).

Non-core conditions must constitute the minimum interference with the offender's liberty, privacy and freedom of movement that is necessary in the circumstances to ensure the purpose of the conditions. They must be reasonably related to the gravity of the risk of the offender reoffending.

With the exception of core conditions, the court may declare other conditions are temporary, so that they last only up to 6 months.

See ss. 31, 32, 34,35, 37, 42—Serious Offenders Act 2018 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Offence of failing to comply with a condition

It is an indictable offence, punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment if an offender fails to comply with a condition in a supervision order.

See s. 169—Serious Offenders Act 2018 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Core conditions

The concept of core conditions are not new, but the list has expanded under the Serious Offenders Act 2018. Core conditions apply to all supervision orders as long as the order is in place, regardless when the order was made.

Core conditions include a requirement that the offender:

  • does not commit any serious violent or serious sex offence listed in Schedules 2 and 1 of the Act (including outside Victoria)
  • does not commit any offence under Schedule 3 (additional offences prohibited under core conditions)
  • does not do anything to pose a risk to the good order of any residential facility (or residential treatment facility) that they are required to live in
  • obeys all instructions given to them by a supervision or other authorised officer
  • does not engage in any behaviour that threatens the safety of any person (including the offender themselves)
  • attends any place as directed by the authority in relation to:
    • assessments required
    • administration of conditions
    • receiving visits
  • notifies the authority of any change in their employment
  • asks permission before leaving Victoria
  • complies with any emergency direction given by the authority
  • obeys all instructions given by a Community Corrections Officer.

See ss. 31, 37—Serious Offenders Act 2018 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

When making a supervision order, the court must also consider making an order that the person not contravene the Firearms or Control of Weapons Acts.

For more details about firearms and weapons provisions see Provisions relating to firearms.

Schedule 3 offences (additional prohibited offences)

It is a core condition of a supervision order that a person must not commit any of the offences listed in Schedule 3. The long list of offences in this schedule includes:

  • stalking
  • using firearms to commit an offence, or to resist arrest
  • performing female genital mutilation or removing a person from Victoria with that intention
  • contravening a family violence safety notice or order or a personal safety intervention order
  • distribution of an intimate image
  • destroying or damaging property
  • home invasion, armed robbery or car invasion, and
  • bomb hoaxes.

See Serious Offenders Act 2018 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Suggested conditions

In addition to the core conditions that must be included in a supervision order, the court may also impose conditions that:

  • restrict the areas that the person can visit (or must not visit at particular times)
  • require a person to attend treatment or rehabilitation programs
  • prohibit drinking alcohol or using prohibited drugs
  • require the person to have regular breath or urine tests
  • restrict the kind of work a person can do
  • place restrictions on certain kinds of behaviour
  • restrict some community activities
  • restrict the people, or classes of people that the person can associate with (for example, children)
  • require the person to be monitored (including electronic monitoring), or
  • require the person to submit to medical examinations.

Common conditions sought

The Secretary of Department of Justice and Community Safety has commonly applied for the following conditions under the former Act in relation to serious sex offenders:

  • a curfew between 10 pm and 7 am
  • not to be within 100 metres of a school, kindergarten, child care centre or children's playground
  • not to visit public parks
  • not to join, affiliate with, or engage in community activities in which there are reasonable grounds for believing that there are likely to be children or young persons under 18 years old, attending or participating
  • not having supervised or unsupervised contact with children under 18 that cannot be avoided in the exercise of lawful daily activities
  • not to access technology that can store, produce, or transmit images.

These conditions invariably allow for express approval by the requisite authority to override these conditions.

See ss. 27(4), 35—Serious Offenders Act 2018 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Intensive treatment and supervision condition

The court may impose a condition that requires a person, who has been sentenced for a serious sex offence, to live at a residential treatment facility if the court is satisfied that:

  • the condition is necessary to reduce the risk of the person committing a serious sex or serious violence offence, and
  • other less restrictive ways of managing the risk have been tried or considered.

If an intensive treatment and supervision order is imposed, the court must also impose a list of other conditions. These include requirements to:

  • participate in the treatment
  • restrict when they can leave the facility, and
  • submit to electronic monitoring.

These intensive treatment and supervision conditions may remain in force for up to 2 years.

See s. 32, Part 13—Serious Offenders Act 2018 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Restrictive conditions

If an application is made, the court can make a declaration that any of the conditions imposed on a supervision order are restrictive conditions.

Some core conditions are automatically classified as restrictive conditions.

See ss. 3, 40, 41—Serious Offenders Act 2018 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Contravention of a restrictive condition

The minimum penalty for a breach of a restrictive condition is 12 months prison, unless a special reason exists. Special reasons are described in the Sentencing Act 1991 as:

  • the offender has helped law enforcement authorities in the investigation or prosecution of an offence
  • is aged over 18 and under 21 years old at the time of the offence and proves that they have a particular psych-social immaturity, diminishing their ability to regulate their behaviour
  • proves that they had impaired mental functioning when they committed the offence, that substantially reduces their culpability, or would result in the offender being subject to a significantly higher burden or risks of imprisonment.

See s. 169—Serious Offenders Act 2018 (Vic)(opens in a new window) and ss. 10A, 10AB—Sentencing Act 1991 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Court must consider conditions in any existing orders

When the court is considering what conditions to include in a detention or supervision order, they must consider what conditions are currently in place in:

  • interim accommodation or family preservation orders under child protection law
  • a family violence intervention order (or recognised DVO)
  • personal safety intervention orders.

The court must not impose conditions (with the exception of a core condition) that is inconsistent with a condition in one of these existing orders unless the court believes that it is necessary to reduce the risk of the offender reoffending.

See s. 30—Serious Offenders Act 2018 (Vic).

Discretion to impose any other conditions

The new Act makes it clear that the court has the power to impose any other condition that it considers appropriate. It then goes on to give some suggestions for conditions that may reduce the likelihood of the person offending. The suggestions for other conditions are to:

  • prohibit internet access
  • undergo treatment or rehabilitation
  • attend a program relating to violent behaviour, anger management, conflict resolution,
  • attend programs relating to interpersonal skills or interpersonal relationships.

See s. 38—Serious Offenders Act 2018 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Provisions relating to firearms

In addition to the requirement that the court consider imposing a condition prohibiting contravention of a provision under the Firearms or Control of Weapons Acts, the Act empowers a court to:

  • cancel (or suspend) a person's firearms authority
  • revoke a weapons approval, or
  • revoke an application for a weapons exemption when making a supervision or interim supervision order.

The person cannot appeal a court's decision to make an order cancelling a firearms authority or revoking a weapons approval or application. However, if a supervision order is revoked or expires then the orders relating to firearms and weapons cease to have any effect.

See ss. 37, 38, 39, 50, 51—Serious Offenders Act 2018 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Living within a residential facility

People on detention orders

People who are serving detention orders are housed in a place called Greenhill. This is a separate facility within the John Hopkins centre in Ararat. At the time of writing there were only 4 people detained under the Serious Sex Offenders (Detention and Supervision) Act 2009 (Vic), which was repealed on 3 September 2018. These people will continue to be detained under the new Act.

People on supervision orders who are required to live in a residential facility

If the person had been sentenced for a serious sex offence, the court may impose a condition on a supervision order that requires a person to live at a residential facility. The court will usually do this if no other suitable accommodation is available (that is, no accommodation that satisfied environmental scans).

This order may include specific times when the offender must be at that facility. For example, they may be free to come and go during the day, but must be there between 10 pm and 7 am.

Offenders are allowed to move freely within a residential treatment facility subject to conditions in their order. However they must also follow instructions of the authority and supervision officers.

The Governor in Council must appoint the residential facility and this should be published in the Government Gazette.

There are several residential facilities that house people who are on supervision orders. These are in Ararat: Corella place and 228, which provides unit style accommodation.

See ss. 34, 36 and Part 13—Serious Offenders Act 2018 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Temporary absence from the facility

Typically offenders are allowed eight trips away from the residential facility each month with either one or two escorts. These trips incorporate all of their shopping, medical appointments, legal appointments, sex offender program visits, Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and social outings for the month.

Visitors

Visitors are allowed to enter a residential facility at any time unless this visit conflicts with a condition of the person's order. They will need to give their name, address, occupation and age, their relationship to the offender and the reason for their visit. Visitors must follow instructions from a supervising officer to maintain the good order, and safety and welfare of the facility.

See ss. 187, 188, 189, 205—Serious Offenders Act 2018 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Living in the community

People subject to supervision orders sometimes live in the community at addresses approved by the Department of Justice and Community Safety following detailed environmental scans.

More information

Legislation

Serious Offenders Act 2018 (Vic)

  • s. 3—defines a 'restrictive condition'
  • s. 13—application for a supervision order
  • s. 14—determination of application for a supervision order
  • s. 16—content of supervision order
  • s. 27—purposes of conditions in supervision orders
  • s. 30—court may consider other orders
  • s. 31—core conditions of supervision order
  • s. 32—intensive treatment and supervision condition
  • s. 34—other conditions relating to residence
  • s. 35—suggested conditions
  • s. 36—condition authorising authority to give directions
  • s. 37—condition about firearms or weapons
  • s. 38—discretion to impose any other condition
  • s. 39—cancellation of firearms authority
  • s. 41—court may declare condition to be a restrictive condition
  • s. 50—conditions about firearms and weapons
  • s. 51 —suspension of firearms authority
  • s. 61—application for detention order
  • s. 62—determination of application for detention order
  • s. 63—finding an unacceptable risk
  • s. 64—detention order only option
  • s. 69—period of detention order
  • s. 99—periodic review of supervision order
  • s. 100—periodic review of detention order
  • s. 169—offence to contravene a condition
  • s. 187—visitors
  • s. 188—exclusion of visitors for safety reasons
  • s. 189—visitors must give certain information
  • s. 205—exclusion of visitors and termination of visits for safety and security reasons

See Serious Offenders Act 2018 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Sentencing Act 1991 (Vic)

  • s. 10A—special reasons relevant to imposing minimum non-parole periods
  • s. 10AB—custodial sentence for offence of breaching a supervision order under s. 169 of the Serious Offenders Act 2018

See Sentencing Act 1991 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Updated