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 Interstate transfers

This information is for Commonwealth prisoners currently serving a sentence of imprisonment who wish to apply for transfer from a prison in one state or territory to a prison in another state or territory based on welfare grounds.

This process does not cover the transfer of parole supervision from one jurisdiction to another.

On this page:

Apply to transfer interstate
What to include in your application
The process for federal prisoners
The process for joint federal and state/territory prisoners
Legislation covering the transfer of prisoners
Get more information

Apply to transfer interstate

Complete the following form and apply through Sentence Management at your prison or through your individual case manager. Applications for interstate transfer should be sent through the interstate transfer officer in the state or territory where you are in prison now.

Regulation 4 of the Transfer of Prisoners Regulations provides information relevant to making an application as follows:

What to include in your application

Your application must include a statement as to:

  1. family or near family support in the state or territory you are seeking to transfer to, including the availability of accommodation upon your release from prison
  2. family or other social circumstances that may benefit your welfare either during imprisonment or following your release from prison;
  3. medical reasons, if any, in support of your request;
  4. your job prospects after you are released from prison
  5. any other matters that you wish to put forward in support of the application.

You can also provide any relevant supporting documentation and the contact details of any people relevant to your application. The relevant State or Territory Department of Corrective Services must prepare a written report that includes information about:

  1. the prisoner’s sentence
  2. any outstanding legal matters
  3. whether a transfer would be in the prisoner’s welfare

Send this report and your completed application to the Commonwealth Parole Office. We will process the application and send you an acknowledgment.

If you are appealing against conviction or sentence, we will not usually consider your application for transfer until the appeal has been finalised. If you are subject to further criminal charges in the state or territory in which you are currently imprisoned, we will not usually consider your application until after those charges have been finalised.

Process for federal prisoners

The Attorney-General may seek the consent of the Minister for Corrective Services in the state or territory to which the prisoner seeks transfer.  If the relevant minister consents to the transfer, the Attorney-General may then sign a welfare transfer order.  Once the state or territory in which the prisoner is currently imprisoned receives the welfare transfer order, it is a matter for the relevant states and/or territories to make arrangements for the physical transfer of the prisoner. 

Process for joint federal and state/territory prisoners

The Commonwealth will need to seek the consent of the Minister for Corrective Services in the State or Territory to which the prisoner seeks transfer.  If the prisoner is a joint federal and State or Territory prisoner, a welfare transfer order must be signed by both the Commonwealth and relevant State or Territory Minister.

Once the welfare transfer order or orders has been received by the state or territory in which the prisoner is currently imprisoned, it will be a matter for the relevant states and/or territories to make arrangements for the physical transfer of the prisoner.

The application process for welfare transfer can take a considerable amount of time due to the need to obtain reports from states and territories and ministerial consent from the receiving jurisdiction before a transfer may take place. 

Trial transfer

Prisoners who are serving a sentence of imprisonment and have outstanding charges in another state or territory may be transferred to that state or territory to stand trial.  It is in a person’s interest to have outstanding charges heard and finalised so that when they are released from custody, they are not facing further court proceedings.

Trial transfer is a complicated process.  If you have outstanding matters interstate, you should discuss your situation with your solicitor.  Your solicitor or the relevant prosecution agency can contact the Commonwealth Parole Office to discuss the trial transfer process.

Legislation covering the transfer of prisoners

Applications for welfare transfer are subject to the Transfer of Prisoners Act 1983 (Cth).

Under subsection 6(1) of the Act, the Attorney-General may make an order for the transfer of a federal prisoner from one state or territory to another after he or she has received the consent of the relevant minister of the state or territory to which the prisoner wishes to transfer. 

The process for trial transfer is set out in Part III of the Transfer of Prisoners Act.

Get more information

For more information, email the Commonwealth Parole Office at cpo@ag.gov.au

You can also write to:

Principal Legal Officer
Commonwealth Parole Office
Attorney-General's Department
3-5 National Circuit
BARTON ACT 2600