State Parole Authority

Release to Parole

What is the purpose of parole?

Parole is the release of an offender from custody to serve the balance of their sentence in the community. 

The purpose of parole is to supervise and support the reintegration of offenders before the end of their total sentence while providing a continuing measure of protection to the community.

Parole does not mean that offenders are free to do whatever they please in the community. Nor is it a reduction of the sentence the judge set at the time of sentencing. 

While on parole, the offender is still serving the sentence determined by the Court. 

Parole is not leniency or a reward for good behaviour but an
opportunity to assist and monitor an offender's adaptation to normal, lawful community life.

As a bridge between custody and liberty, 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 and if the conditions of parole are not met, parole may be revoked and the offender returned to custody.

Parole serves the community interest by ensuring offenders are supervised and supported upon their return to the community and this safety net reduces the likelihood of re-offending. 

It provides a far more effective way of protecting the community than semply releasing offenders suddenly at the end fo their sentence without without and supervision and assistance.

When is release to parole considered by the Authority?

Legislation prescribes an offender must be considered for release to parole approximately sixty days before their parole eligibility date (this the earliest date a Sentencing Judge says an offender is eligible for parole). 

The SPA MUST make its final decision no later than 21 days from the parole date. 

Before considering an offender's release to parole, the following documents are always provided to Authority members to assist with their decision making:

  • Information regarding the offender's behavior in custody
  • Criminal record
  • The Judge's Sentencing Remarks
  • A Pre-Release Report prepared by Community Corrections

Other documents that may be provided include:

  • Submissions from the offender, their family members or legal representative
  • Submissions from the victim/s or family
  • Reports from professionals, such as psychologists or psychiatrists.