Once a victim has applied (See the How to apply section) the Police determine a victim’s eligibility under the Victims’ Rights Act, to be on the victim notification register.
Police then send the approved form to either Corrections or the Ministry of Health.
Corrections is responsible for notifying victims about offenders who are:
- held in prison (includes offenders remanded in custody)
- on home detention
- released from prison on court imposed release conditions
- released on parole
- serving an extended supervision order
The Ministry of Health is responsible for notifying victims about offenders held in psychiatric hospitals.
What happens when a victim is approved
When an approved application is received from Police, the victim information manager writes to the victim/s, or their appointed representative, to confirm they are registered.
Once registered, victim notification coordinators at prisons and community probation offices are responsible for providing notifications to victims of an offender:
- who is serving a prison sentence
- who is on home detention or post detention conditions
- who has been released on court imposed conditions, parole, release conditions imposed by the NZPB, or is serving an extended supervision order.
- The New Zealand Parole Board is responsible for notifying victims about the parole process for offenders sentenced to more than two years in prison.
How a victim registration is closed
Notifications continue until the end of the sentence relating to the victim or the longest sentence received at the time the offender was sentenced for the offending against the victim.
Victim registration is closed when an offender:
- is released from prison without any release conditions
- is convicted but not sentenced to either prison or home detention (because victim is no longer eligible)
- is released from home detention
- has completed any post detention conditions imposed by the Court at the time of sentencing
- has completed any release conditions imposed by the Court at the time of sentencing
- has completed parole or release conditions imposed by the NZPB
- at the written request of the victim.
If a victim becomes ineligible to be on the register, Police will write to the victim/s to say they are no longer eligible and their registration has been closed. A victim could become ineligible due to: the sentence that was received is not covered by the Act, the charges relating to the victim are dismissed, or the offender is convicted and discharged.
How to update your details on VNR
The only way we can keep you informed is if your contact details are kept up to date. We can’t emphasise strongly enough the importance of this.
As a registered victim the Department and the New Zealand Parole Board rely on the Victim Notification Register being up to date so that notifications around parole hearings, temporary release and final release from prison are sent to your correct address. In addition, your physical address is important when considering offenders for release whether it is on parole or a temporary release.
Your contact details are recorded in a secure database that is only accessible by the staff responsible for providing you with information.
You can update your details by phone, email or post.
Phone: 0800 603 240
Email: email@example.com or
Post: Victim Information
Department of Corrections
PO Box 1206