Jess* is a young Aboriginal woman with a psychosocial disability and a history of significant trauma and abuse.
Jess was in prison past her parole eligibility date when she received a preliminary parole refusal that contained a letter expressing concerns about releasing her. She was provided more than 40 pages of supporting documents and was invited to respond by written submissions within 14 days.
The primary concerns about releasing Jess related to non-compliant and disruptive behaviour in prison that was recorded on her prison records. Prisoners Legal Service acted on behalf of Jess to help her respond to the preliminary parole refusal.
Prisoner Legal Service spoke to Jess about the prison incidents using a gender sensitive and trauma informed approach. Prisoners Legal Service obtained copies of her prison records and connected Jess with community-based services to meet her needs upon release.
Prisoners Legal Service made written submissions to the decision maker identifying the connection between Jess' prison incidents and her unmet mental health needs. Prisoners Legal Service then appeared with Jess by video link before the decision makers.
The preliminary refusal decision was reversed, and Jess was released onto a supported parole order in the community.
(*not their real name)