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Parole granted to 23% of offenders

07 September 2016

The Parole Board says 23.3% of offenders who participated in hearings were granted parole in the year to 30 June 2016.

In its Annual Report for the year to 30 June 2016, the Board says it saw 4,986 offenders serving long term sentences (over two years' imprisonment) and conducted 8,074 hearings. This was at similar levels to the previous year.

Parole hearings and decisions, year to 30 June
Hearings20162015
Number% TotalNumber% Total
Parole declined137823.3%145925%
Approved for parole452776.7%433475%
Total5905 5793 

 
Board chair Warwick Gendall QC says changes to the Parole Act 2002 which came into effect on 2 September 2015 enabled the Board to fix the time before which an offender may next be seen at up to two years, rather than the previous one year provision.

He says that since September 2015, 701 offenders have had their next appearance date fixed at between one to two years.

Under the new power to postpone hearings for five years for offenders serving finite sentences of 10 years or more, life or preventive detention, the Board postponed a total of 35 offender hearings for three to five years.

"The Department of Corrections research illustrates that a year after release, offenders released on parole are significantly less likely to reoffend than those offenders who complete their full sentence and are not paroled," Mr Gendall says. 

"Generally, offenders are serving longer periods in prison since the enactment of the Parole Act 2002 and its amendments. Of those offenders who are eligible for parole, but declined and proceed to complete their full sentence and are released only on final conditions, about 50% will reoffend. 

"That is because offenders who cannot or will not acknowledge or address the causes of their offending cannot be released as they remain an undue risk to the community. About one-third of offenders (30% or about 600 annually) fall into this category and are not released till their sentence end date."

Requests for earlier hearings, year to 30 June
Result20162015
Number% TotalNumber% Total
Early hearing denied21645.3%23240%
Approved for early hearing17954.7%15760%
Total395 389 
Determinate sentence hearings, year to 30 June
Result20162015
Number% TotalNumber% Total
Declined409024.6%532373.5%
Approved133175.4%141226.5%
Total5421 6735 

Indeterminate sentence hearings (life or preventive detention), year to 30 June
Result20162015
Number% TotalNumber% Total
Declined43690.3%42390.0%
Released on life parole479.7%4710.0%
Total483 470

Last updated on the 16th September 2019