Applying for parole

About eight months before a prisoner becomes eligible for parole, a probation and parole officer will begin preparing a report for the Parole Board. 

Most importantly, they will identify risks to the community, victims or the prisoner to present to the Parole Board.

They will gather information about the prisoner by talking to:

  • the prisoner
  • the prisoner's family
  • staff at the prison
  • victims
  • support and treatment services
  • community members.

The prisoner will be asked to outline their plans if parole is granted, including:

  • where they will live
  • what they want to do
  • how they will support themselves financially 
  • what support they will need
  • what steps they will take to ensure they don’t return to prison.

Two months before the prisoner is eligible for release on parole, the Parole Board will consider the application and decide whether parole will be granted. The board considers each case on its own merits.

What the board considers

Factors the board will take into consideration include some or all of the following:

  • the nature and circumstances of the offence
  • comments made by the sentencing magistrate or judge when imposing a sentence
  • the prisoner’s criminal history and patterns of reoffending 
  • the prisoner’s previous history of supervision in the community
  • the possibility of the prisoner reoffending while on parole and the likely nature of the reoffending
  • the risk of harm to the community and victim
  • release plans including accommodation and employment
  • reports, assessments and recommendations made by a variety of professionals, including medical practitioners, psychiatrists, psychologists, custodial staff and/or probation and parole officers
  • rehabilitation and educational courses undertaken by the prisoner
  • institutional reports in relation to the prisoner’s behaviour while in prisoner
  • the security rating of the prisoner within the prison
  • victim’s safety, welfare and whereabouts
  • submissions made by the victim or people related to the victim
  • submissions made by the prisoner, their family, friends, potential employers or other individuals
  • submissions made by the legal representatives of the prisoner
  • whether the prisoner can be adequately supervised in the community under the standard conditions of parole or whether further parole conditions should be imposed.

The board may do one of the following:

  • release the prisoner on a certain date
  • deny parole
  • decide at a later date after more information is gathered.

If parole is denied, a prisoner cannot appeal the decision. However, they can reapply for parole at any time.

Support programs for prisoners applying for parole

The North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA) run support programs to assist Indigenous prisoners to develop post-release plans and assist with the parole process.

Find out more information about the Throughcare Program on the NAAJA website.

Under the law, representatives of community members must be consulted when a prisoner who is serving life for murder is being considered for parole. Read the law.

Community probation and parole officers supervise remote offenders and assist victims, parolees and the community.

Interpreters are available if a prisoner applying for parole is not confident in English, or can be requested by a probation and parole officer if they have concerns about language barriers.

Other languages

Read more about applying for parole in English

or listen and watch in other languages below.

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Last updated: 27 June 2017