Parole is the supervised and supported reintegration of offenders in the community prior to their total sentence expiring, while also providing a continuing measure of protection to the community.
Parole does not mean that offenders are free, as an offender is still considered to be subject to their sentence. Release to parole is not leniency or a reward for good behaviour, but an extension of the sentence that provides the opportunity to assist and monitor an offender’s adaption to a normal, lawful community life.
Parole serves the interests of the community by ensuring offenders are supervised and supported during reintegration, and reduces the likelihood of recidivism (re-offending). It provides a more effective way of protecting the community than would a more sudden release of an offender at sentence expiry, without supervision, monitoring and assistance.
As a bridge between custody and liberty in the community, parole is a form of conditional release that involves a thorough review of information and assessment of risk. Parolees must abide by the conditions of their release. If the conditions of parole are not met, parole may be revoked and the offender returned to custody.
Community Corrections are responsible for the supervision of parolees in New South Wales.