|Description of this FunctionDescription of this Function|
From 1908, the Penal and Gaols Branch, Chief Secretary's Department was responsible for reformatory prisons and a system of probation established under the provisions of the Indeterminate Sentences Act 1907 (No.2106). Administration of this Act was undertaken in conjunction with the Indeterminate Sentences Board from 1908 to 1957. Under this scheme, offenders who had been convicted on indictment, could be given an indeterminate reformatory sentence either as an alternative to a fixed term sentence or on expiration of a fixed term sentence and prisoners were detained at the Governor's pleasure until they had demonstrated that they were eligible for release on probation.
In 1915, under the provisions of the Indeterminate Sentences Act (No.2758) the Board was given the power to grant temporary release to prisoners to test their reform. This temporary release was known as parole and was usually granted for six months. If the prisoner met the requirements of parole, a recommendation for release on probation was made and the period of probation was usually two years.
Reformatory prisons and the Indeterminate Sentences Board were abolished in 1957 under the provisions of the Penal Reform Act 1956 (No.5961). The Penal and Gaols Branch was responsible for the administration of the parole system established by the Act in conjunction with the Parole Board (VA 1087).
In 1960 under the provisions of the Social Welfare Act (No.6651) the Social Welfare Branch (VA 2784) was established within the Chief Secretary's Department assuming responsibility for functions previously administered by the Penal and Gaols Branch. Responsibility for functions relating to probation and parole was assumed by the Probation and Parole Division of the Social Welfare Branch and was administered in liaison with the Adult and Youth Parole Boards, Children's Court probation services having been transferred from the Attorney General (VRG 19) in 1960.
In 1971 following the appointment of a Minister for Social Welfare (VRG 60) responsibility for probation and parole was assumed by the newly established Social Welfare Department (VA 946).
In 1979 a Minister for Community Services was appointed and a Department of Community Welfare Services was established under the provisions of the Community Welfare Services Act 1978 (No.9248). The Regional Services Division of the Department was responsible for the co-ordination of probation, parole and community service orders. By this time there was a clear separation of the administration of adult and juvenile correctional services. Juvenile correctional services became more closely linked to the provision of family and child welfare services.
In 1983 following a major review of Victoria's prison system, the Office of Corrections (VA 1063) was established under the provisions of the Community Welfare Services (Director General of Corrections) Act 1983 (No.9966). The Office of Corrections was administratively separated from the Department of Community Welfare Services and the Director General exercises the power of a Chief Administrator. The Office of Corrections (VA 1063) assumed responsibility for adult correctional services only. Responsibility for juvenile correctional services remained with the Department of Community Welfare Services (VA 613).
In 1987 the Minister responsible for Corrections assumed responsibility for the Office of Corrections (VA 1063) which had been established under the provisions of the Community Welfare Services (Director General of Corrections) Act 1983 (No.9966). The Office of Corrections was responsible for the administration of non-custodial services including attendance centre orders, probation orders and community service orders together with post-custodial, pre-release and parole programs. Administration of the parole program is undertaken in conjunction with the Adult Parole Board.
Following administrative changes in 1992, the Office of Corrections was absorbed into the newly formed Department of Justice. Advice to the Adult Parole Board is provided by the Community Correctional Services Division of CORE the Public Correctional Enterprise.