Parole Authority

Parole Consideration

Members of the Parole Authority are provided with the documents they require to make their decision a week prior to the meeting. The material is read by the members before they meet on a Thursday or Friday in a private meeting. Once in the meeting, all the members will discuss the offenders listed for the meeting and discuss whether release to parole is appropriate, being guided in their decision-making by the Crimes (Administration of Sentences) Act 1999.

The Parole Authority is required to consider whether the release of an offender is in the interests of the safety of the community. As outlined in the legislation, three principal matters need to be considered:
1. the risk to the safety of the members of the community in releasing the offender,
2. whether release to parole is likely to address the risk of the offender re-offending,
3. the risk to community safety of releasing the offender at the end of the sentence without a period of supervised parole, or at a later date with a shorter period of supervised parole.

The Parole Authority is also required to consider a number of other matters including, but not limited to:
  • the nature and circumstances of the offence/s giving rise to the current sentence
  • any relevant comments of the judicial officer at the time of sentencing
  • the offender's criminal  history
  • the likely effect of the offender's release on any victim or victim/s family
  • any report prepared by a Community Corrections Officer 
Where appropriate, the Parole Authority is also required to take into account whether the offender has failed to disclos the location of the remains of a victim and whether the offender has provided post-sentence assistance. 

If a decision is made that it is in the interests of community safety to grant an offender parole, the reasons for doing so must be recorded and appropriate parole conditions are then determined.

In all cases, strict conditions are imposed on the offender. Additional conditions can then be specifically tailored to an individual to address the factors related to their offending behaviour. These may include:
a) Abstinence from alcohol,  
b) Random substance testing (for alcohol, legal [prescribed] and illegal drugs),
c) Assessment and treatment for alcohol or drug addiction, 
d) Assessment and treatment for psychiatric or psychological issues, 
e) Restricted contact with certain individuals, whether co-offenders or victims,
f) Restrictions on places the parolee is able to visit, 
g) Attendance at personal development programs

The Secretariat prepares the parole order for each parolee before it is signed by the Secretary of the Parole Authority. The order is then sent to the Correctional Centre and Community Corrections. Community Corrections read through the details of the order with the offender, prior to the offender’s release and explains what is required of them during the period of parole.
 
In the event an offender is granted parole in the private meeting, there is no need to “face” or “appear before” the Parole Authority as the decision has been made “on the papers”.

Alternatively, the Parole Authority may determine that release to parole is not appropriate and more about this process can be found here.