When the Authority makes an adverse decision about an offender (whether this be refusal of parole or a parolee’s return to custody), this decision has the opportunity of review at a public review hearing.
Review Hearings are held in Court 7, Level 4 of the Sydney West Trial Courts building, located at 6 George Street, Parramatta. Review hearings are held every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and on the second, fourth and if applicable, fifth Wednesday of the month.
Offenders are provided with the documentation that the Authority relied upon in making their decision prior to their appearance at a review hearing. All offender appearances at the review hearings occur via audio-video link from the correctional centre in which the offender is housed, while their legal representatives appear in person.
If the Community Corrections Officer is required to give evidence, they usually appear via telephone link, however, occasionally appear in person. If requested by an offender, the Authority can also make arrangements for interpreters to be present in Court to assist in the smooth running of the review hearing.
The review hearings are a public hearing, as such, anyone from the public can attend, including offender’s family members, students, the media or victims. If a registered victim of an offender chooses to attend a hearing, arrangements are usually made with the Victims Register of CSNSW to assist in their understanding of proceedings and to provide support if required.