State Parole Authority

Parole Consideration

How do offenders apply for parole?

In NSW, offenders do not need to make application for parole consideration.

The legislation prescribes that the Parole Authority must consider whether or not an offender should be released on parole not earlier than 60 and not later than 21 days before an offender's parole eligibility date (ie. earliest release date).

From an administrative point of view, the Secretariat monitors and lists offender cases to ensure compliance with the legislation.

What material is available to the Authority when considering parole?

In all cases, there are three main documents that must be available to the Authority in the private meetings when considering release to parole. These are: the Criminal History, Judges Sentencing Remarks and the Pre Release Report. In the case of serious offenders, a report from the Serious Offenders Review Council is also required.

On occasions other documents are available, including submissions from the offender and their family members, submissions from victims and reports from professionals.

What does the Authority consider when determining release to parole?

Section 135 of the Crimes (Administration of Sentences) Act 1999 prescribes what the Authority must consider when determining the release of an offender.

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 offender is appropriate in the public interest.

In deciding whether or not the release of an offender is appropriate in the public interest, the Parole Authority must have regard to the following matters:

  • the need to protect the safety of the community,
  • the need to maintain public confidence in the administration of justice,
  • the nature and circumstances of the offence to which the offender's sentence relates,
  • any relevant comments made by the sentencing court,
  • the offender's criminal history,
  • the likelihood of the offender being able to adapt to normal lawful community life,
  • the likely effect on any victim of the offender, and on any such victim's family, of the offender being released on parole,
  • any report in relation to the granting of parole to the offender that has been prepared by or on behalf of the Probation and Parole Service, as referred to in section 135A,
  • any other report in relation to the granting of parole to the offender that has been prepared by or on behalf of the Review Council, the Commissioner or any other authority of the
    • if the Drug Court has notified the Parole Authority that it has declined to make a compulsory drug treatment order in relation to an offender's sentence on the ground referred to in section 18D (1) (b) (vi) of the Drug Court Act 1998, the circumstances of that decision to decline to make the order,
  • such guidelines as are in force under section 185A,
  • such other matters as the Parole Authority considers relevant.