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Interstate transfers

Welfare Transfer

This information relates to Commonwealth prisoners who are serving a current sentence of imprisonment and 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.

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. 

Note: The transfer of parole supervision from one State or Territory to another jurisdiction is a separate process.

How to apply

Prisoners may complete the following form and apply through Sentence Management at their prison or through their individual case manager.

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

A prisoner's application shall include a statement as to:

  1. family or near family support in the State or Territory to which the prisoner seeks to be transferred, including the availability of accommodation upon the prisoner's release from prison
  2. family or other social circumstances that may benefit the welfare of the prisoner either during imprisonment or following release from prison;
  3. medical reasons, if any, in support of the request;
  4. prospects of employment following release from prison; and
  5. any other matters that the prisoner wishes to put forward in support of the application.

Prisoners may also provide any relevant supporting documentation and the contact details of any people relevant to the application. The relevant State or Territory Department of Corrective Services may 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

This report and the completed application should be sent to the Commonwealth Parole Office who will process the application and send the prisoner an acknowledgment.

If a prisoner is appealing against conviction or sentence, the application for transfer will not usually be considered until the appeal has been finalised. If a prisoner is subject to further criminal charges in the State or Territory in which they are currently imprisoned, the application will not usually be considered 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 welfare transfer order 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. 

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 consent from both the sending and receiving jurisdictions before a transfer may take place. 

For more information contact the Commonwealth Parole Office at cpo@ag.gov.au or at:

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