Parole Authority

​Serious Offenders & Parole Consideration

The decision making process for considering parole for a serious offender is the same as non-serious offenders, however, the Authority also require the advice of the Serious Offenders Review Council (SORC) before making any decisions.

Section 135(5) of the Act states, except in exceptional circumstances, the parole authority must not make a parole order for a serious offender unless the review council (SORC) advises that it is appropriate for the offender to be considered for release on parole.

In the event that SORC advise that release to parole is appropriate and the Parole Authority have also determined that release to parole is appropriate, rather than granting parole, the Authority form an intention to grant parole. As with all decisions to grant parole, both conditions and reasons for this decision must be recorded.

An intention to grant parole is formed to allow legislative requirements to occur being:

  • The opportunity for the State to make a submission at a public review hearing
  • The opportunity for registered victim/s to make a submission (either verbally or in writing) at a public review hearing.
Neither of these parties is compelled to make submissions nor attend the review hearing.

A review hearing is scheduled some 4-6 weeks after the intention to grant parole is determined. Both the registered victim/s and the State are informed of the hearing and their opportunity to make a submission.

Serious Offenders and intention to grant parole review hearings

At the review hearing, the offender appears via audio visual link and Community Corrections will usually appear via an audio link. All other parties appear in person.

Registered Victims usually make verbal submissions at a time determined appropriate by the Judicial Member chairing the Authority on the day.
 
In the event the State of NSW are opposing the release of the offender to parole, they will make submissions to the Authority for consideration. The offender’s legal representative also has the opportunity to make their own submission and may call evidence from the offender or Community Corrections.

The Authority can ask questions of the State, the offender, the Community Corrections representative legal representative and the offender.
 
Once all the evidence has been heard, the Authority will retire to make a decision.

In the event that the Authority determine that parole should be granted, the Authority converts their intention to grant parole into an order for release to parole. The previously nominated conditions and reasons need to be amended or added to as required.

If the Authority requires further information prior to making a final determination, the matter can be stood over to request further reports or information.

Alternatively, if the Authority determines that the offender should not be released to parole, the Authority convert the intention to grant parole into a decision to refuse parole. As always, the reasons for this decision will need to be recorded.