Publication date: Monday, 26 February 2018
In October 2017, the NSW Parliament passed tough and smart legislation to reform the criminal justice system and help make our communities safer. Significant progress has been made to put these changes into practice: the new community safety test for parole was introduced in November and in December we strengthened the management of high risk offenders.
Today, we welcome more changes to enable smarter management of parolees. Supervision by Community Corrections officers is now a mandatory parole condition. Supervised parole plays a vital role in protecting the community as it is proven to reduce reoffending and support the successful reintegration of offenders.
Community Corrections officers are fully trained and well equipped to manage parolees. During supervision, officers work with offenders to challenge their thinking and behaviour to reduce the risk that they will reoffend. They also monitor an offender's compliance with their parole conditions, which may include: drug and alcohol testing; participation in rehabilitation programs; and restrictions on where an offender can go or who they can associate with.
Additional changes to how parole breaches are managed mean that officers now have clear authority to impose penalties in response to less serious breaches, such as reporting late or missing a program session. Imposing a penalty closer to the time of breach is a more effective way of managing an offender's behaviour and risk.
Serious breaches of parole conditions will continue to be reported to the State Parole Authority (SPA). The SPA may revoke the parole order and return the offender to custody, or impose strict conditions which can include electronic monitoring and up to 30 days home detention.
A new safeguard also means that the SPA can revoke parole if the parolee's behaviour raises serious and immediate concerns for the safety of the community - even if there has been no breach.
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.