Publication date: Thursday, 23 November 2017
This week we welcome the first of a series of changes to enable smarter management of parolees to help protect the community.
Parole is when an offender is released from prison to serve the rest of their sentence in the community. Parole is not about being lenient on an offender or rewarding good behaviour. It plays a vital role in protecting the community by ensuring that the offender has a period of structured supervision on release from prison - and it has been proven to reduce reoffending.
Parole decisions are made by the State Parole Authority (SPA), a trusted independent body made up of members of the community, law enforcement and Community Corrections, as well as retired judges and magistrates. The SPA makes a decision about whether or not to grant parole based on a range of factors. The SPA can only consider parole at the time decided by the sentencing court.
The changes include the introduction of a new test that SPA will apply when making parole decisions. The test is called the 'Community Safety Test' and it ensures that community safety is the SPA's paramount consideration when making parole decisions.
Under the changes, the SPA can also refuse parole if an offender convicted of murder or manslaughter has failed to tell investigators the location of their victims' remains. This is known as 'no body, no parole'.
All registered victims of crime will now also have the right to make a statement that the SPA will consider when making a parole decision about the relevant offender.
For more information about how tough and smart justice reforms will reduce reoffending, improve community safety and support victims go to www.justice.nsw.gov.au/reform.
For more information about the State Parole Authority go to: www.paroleauthority.nsw.gov.au.