Parole Authority

Serious Offenders and Parole Refusals

The decision making process for considering parole for a serious offender is the same as non-serious offenders, however, contains an additional step of consideration, being the advice of the Serious Offenders Review Council (SORC). Along with the documents already available to the Authority a report is also provided by the SORC.

Section 135(3) 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 not appropriate and the Parole Authority have also determined that release to parole is not appropriate, the Authority form an intention to refuse parole. As with all decisions, the reasons for intending to refuse parole must be provided.

Again, similarly to a non-serious offender being refused parole, the Authority determine whether public review hearing should be automatically granted or whether the offender is required to convince the Authority, by way of a submission, that a review hearing should be granted.

In rare cases the Authority holds review hearings for offenders where an intention has been made to refuse their parole application.

As with intention to grant hearings, both the State and registered victims are notified of the hearing and can provide the Authority with submissions regarding the release to parole of the offender.

After considering all submissions, the Authority can maintain their view that parole should be refused and the intention to refuse parole becomes a parole refusal, with the associated reasons amended or added to.

Alternatively, if the Authority required further information the matter would be stood over, and, if the Authority believed that release to parole was appropriate, an order granting parole would be made with the appropriate conditions and reasons highlighted, according to the legislation.