The main decisions made by the Board are to:
- determine if a parole application will proceed to parole planning (this means that the Board requests a Parole Suitability Assessment from Community Correctional Services (CCS) to provide information upon which it can decide whether to grant, deny or defer parole)
- grant parole
- deny parole
- revoke parole (this takes place after the Board has granted parole but before the prisoner has been released. For example, a positive drug test in prison may result in the Board revoking the prisoner’s parole before they are released)
- defer the parole application
- to impose discretionary conditions on a parole order
- vary parole conditions
- warn a prisoner on parole if their conduct has the potential to lead to their parole being cancelled
- cancel parole if there has been a breach (or suspected breach) of a parole condition, or if the risk to the safety and protection of the community has escalated.
If the prisoner’s sentence includes a non-parole period, the Board may order their release at any time after the expiry of that period.
Factors for consideration
In making decisions to grant parole, the Board carefully considers all relevant information with the paramount consideration being the safety and protection of the community.
Other matters that the Board takes into account include (but are not limited to):
- the sentence imposed by the court including any comments by the court about parole and rehabilitation
- psychiatric or psychological reports available to the court when it imposed the sentence
- victim impact statements provided to the sentencing court
- the nature and circumstances of the offence for which the prisoner is serving a sentence
- the prisoner’s criminal history, including performance on past parole orders or community-based orders
- a submission received from a victim of the prisoner
- the outcome of formal risk assessments conducted for the prisoner
- whether the prisoner has undertaken treatment or programs and, if so, formal reports of their performance
- psychiatric or psychological reports requested by the Board
- suitable and stable accommodation arrangements
- the prisoner’s behaviour in prison, including outcomes of random drug tests
- for serious offenders, the Board considers a detailed home assessment report about the suitability of proposed accommodation and intelligence held by Corrections Victoria and Victoria Police.