Cross-border justice: for legal professionals

Prison services memorandum of understanding

Agreement objective

The objective of the agreement is to deal promptly and effectively with prisoners who should be neither advantaged nor disadvantaged by the agreement.

Prisoners and sentences

Part D states that a prisoner held on a warrant may be held in prison or on remand in any of the jurisdictions.

A prisoner and their sentence are both managed under the legislation in the jurisdiction in which the prisoner is located. 

The prison sentence remains unchanged regardless of the jurisdiction in which the prisoner serves his or her sentence. 

The parole authority in the jurisdiction in which the offence was committed is responsible for making decisions about parole. 

Parts 6 to 14 of the agreement

Part 6 refers to the responsibilities of home and location authorities to communicate and calculate sentence details.

Part 7 refers to remandees in custody prior to sentencing. The prisoner's views are to be sought by a correctional services officer who will take those views into account in a placement decision.

Part 8 says that when a person is remanded on a cross-border remand warrant they will be taken to the court location in which they were remanded, unless listed for a trial or committal when they would be taken to the home jurisdiction. 

If the possibility of an alleged offence identified by the court could result in a custodial sentence and could be served in another jurisdiction, there is to be a discussion to see if an agreement can be reached. If not, serving of the whole sentence is to occur in the court location where the prisoner has been sentenced.

Part 10 says that in relation to prisoner transfers, the sending authority has the responsibility to organise transport and it is expected that transport details and arrangements will be made according to protocols. The sending authority is expected to forward electronically all necessary records as soon as practicable, and files and property are to be sent within seven working days. Confirmation of the reception of prisoners is to be sent by email.

Parts 11 through 14 outline conditions for serving a sentence after:

  • breach or revocation of parole
  • the release of prisoners to their home community
  • parole notification to the local authority by the relevant jurisdiction
  • orders concerning the appearance of prisoners in court.

Parts 15 to 25 of the agreement

Parts 15 to 17 refer to information management, the reporting of significant incidents and the exchange of information between jurisdictions.

Parts 18 through to 22 identify the following:

  • requirements for the evaluation and review of the prison services memorandum of understanding
  • the training of staff
  • cost sharing arrangements between jurisdictions
  • membership and reporting by the cross borders prions committee
  • contact officers with correspondence protocols.       

Parts 23, 24 and 25 outline the process for dispute resolution between jurisdictions, change and termination of the agreement and the requirements for withdrawing from the agreement.

Three prisons in the cross-border region are named in the agreement:

  • Eastern Goldfields Regional Prison in Western Australia
  • Alice Springs Correctional Centre in the NT
  • Port Augusta Prison in South Australia.

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Last updated: 11 January 2016

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