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Briefing paper
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The Serious Offenders Bill 2018 (the Bill) was introduced in the Victorian Legislative Assembly on 8 May 2018, and was second read on 9 May 2018.  It seeks to establish a civil, protective scheme under which offenders who have served custodial sentences for certain serious sex offences and certain serious violent offences and who present an unacceptable risk of harm to the community can be made subject to ongoing detention or supervision.

The Bill expands on the existing post-sentence supervision and detention regime contained in the Serious Sex Offenders (Detention and Supervision) Act 2009 (SSODSA), which provides for the preventive detention of sexual offenders who pose an unacceptable risk of reoffending following the end of their prison sentence. 3 The Bill seeks to broaden the existing criteria to include persons convicted of offences relating to serious interpersonal harm. It also makes a number of other amendments to the overarching supervision and detention scheme, including introduction of a new emergency detention power, a new intensive treatment and supervision condition, and new conditions relating to the use of firearms by offenders under an order.

This Bill Brief will provide:

  • a brief introduction to post-sentence preventive detention;
  • background to the development of the Bill;
  • an overview of the existing post-sentence scheme;
  • an explanation of the amendments to the existing scheme as contained in the Bill; and
  • information on selected research and other resources that have been published since the Harper review.
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Bill Brief no.6, May 2018