The State Parole Authority's role is to make informed, independent and appropriate decisions, in the public's interest, regarding the release of an offender into the community.
Such decisions in relation to:
Release to parole is not an automatic right at the end of the non-parole period. Section 135(1) of the Crimes (Administration of Sentences) Act 1999 states that 'the Parole Authority must not make a parole order for an offender unless it is satisfied, on the balance of probabilities, that the release of the offender is appropriate in the public interest'.
The SPA considers at a private meeting whether or not an offender should be released on parole based on the written material provided by the relevant authorities.
If parole is granted, a parole order is issued and the offender is released on the due date. In the case of serious offenders, the matter is adjourned to a public hearing to provide the opportunity for registered victims and the State to make submissions before a final decision is made.
If parole is refused, the offender is able to apply for a public hearing to review the decision where they can appear personally by audio/video link and be legally represented. If the offender declines a hearing, or does not convince the SPA that a hearing is warranted, the decision to refuse parole is confirmed.
When specifying reasons for intending to refuse parole, great care is taken to include all the issues and concerns at the time of the consideration are noted. The offender or their legal representative can address these issues at a public review hearing. Should additional issues of concern be identified during a public review hearing, parole refusal will be confirmed until the new issues are also resolved.
The next time the offender is eligible for parole is the anniversary date of the earliest release date. If there is less than 12 months remaining on the offender's sentence, they will be released on the date the sentence expires.
The release of an offender before the expiry of a sentence or non-parole period may also be considered under Section 160 of the Crimes (Administration of Sentences) Act 1999 should the offender be dying or there are other exceptional, extenuating circumstances.