Parole Authority

Refusing Parole​

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 to refuse an offender's release to parole, the reasons for doing so must be recorded.

After determining that parole will be refused, the Parole Authority determine whether the offender should automatically be granted a public review hearing, or whether the offender is required to convince the Authority, by way of an application, that a review hearing should be held.

When an offender is refused parole, they are provided with the documents the Parole Authority relied upon in making their decision. They also receive information that outlines why the Authority determined that it was not appropriate to grant parole, with reference to the legislation outlining the general duty of the Parole Authority. 

If a review hearing is granted automatically, a document is sent to the offender to advise them of their appearance date (via audio-visual link) at the review hearing and asks the offender to nominate a legal representative. Most offenders are represented by Legal Aid's Prisoners Legal Service

If the Parole Authority has determined that an offender needs to apply for a review hearing, a document is sent to the offender explaining this information and asks them to complete the application and provide reasons as to why a review hearing is appropriate. This completed form is then returned back to the Parole Authority for consideration in a private meeting.

In the event that an offender does not seek a review hearing or a review hearing is not granted, and more than 12 months remains on the sentence, an offender can apply for release to parole on their anniversary date, sometimes called an annual review date

In certain circumstances, offenders can apply for earlier parole consideration under the provisions of manifest injustice.