Release to parole by the State Parole Authority (SPA) 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 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.