To ensure an efficient parole application process, the Board rarely interviews prisoners in prisons. Most Board hearings are conducted on paper, as opposed to face-to-face with the prisoner.
When making its decision about a prisoner, the Board has access to extensive information which it receives from predominantly Community Correctional Services (CCS) and Victoria Police. This includes, but is not limited to, a Parole Suitability Assessment, sentencing comments, victim statements, the prisoner’s criminal history, prison intelligence reports, written correspondence from the prisoner, psychological reports, risk and compliance reports, police reports, and much more.
The Board only interviews prisoners when there is a specific need, such as to clarify information relating to the prisoner’s parole application. Interviews are normally conducted by video link.
Prisoners who wish to speak with the Board can make a request through their case manager at the prison. The Board considers these requests on a case-by-case basis.
The Board may speak with young prisoners who have been granted parole but are yet to be released, to explain the Board’s expectations and to reinforce them with strategies for complying with their parole conditions and managing their behaviour outside of prison.
Condition 7 of a parole order states that prisoners on parole ‘must be available for an interview by a community corrections officer, the Regional Manager or the Adult Parole Board at the time and place as directed by the community corrections officer or the Regional Manager or Adult Parole Board’.
The Board may request to interview a prisoner on parole. These interviews normally take place at the Board’s premises in Carlton.
The purpose of these interviews is for the Board to hear from the prisoner in person about their progress on parole, particularly if CCS has informed the Board of concerns about the prisoner’s performance. The Board may decide to warn the prisoner or to vary the conditions on their parole order. In some cases, based on the information from CCS or Victoria Police and the Board’s own assessment of the prisoner, the Board may decide to cancel their parole.