To be considered for release on parole, eligible prisoners must apply to the Adult Parole Board. A prisoner is eligible to apply for parole if they are undergoing a sentence with a non-parole period of imprisonment. Eligible prisoners who choose not to apply for parole will not be considered for release by the Board. If a prisoner applies for parole, the Board determines whether to grant, deny or defer parole. If it grants parole, the Board will also determine the conditions of parole.
Corrections Victoria, the government agency responsible for running the prison system in Victoria, gives eligible prisoners information about how and when to apply for parole, and helps prisoners prepare for parole.
If a prisoner applies for parole, Corrections Victoria will prepare reports for the Board to provide it with relevant information to make a decision. The Board may also receive information from other sources, including Victoria Police.
If the Board decides to release a prisoner on parole, the prisoner will be supervised by a Corrections Victoria parole officer, who will meet regularly with the parolee. The parole officer may also visit the parolee at home and may direct the parolee to do certain things, such as to do community work or to take a drug test.
During the parole, the parole officer may provide reports to the Board. Depending on the parolee’s progress, the Board may decide to interview the parolee to encourage or warn them. If it considers it necessary, the Board may cancel the parole and issue a warrant for Victoria Police to arrest the parolee and return them to prison.
Corrections Victoria prison staff assist eligible prisoners to apply for parole. Parole officers from Corrections Victoria’s Community Correctional Services also prepare a Parole Suitability Assessment report for the Adult Parole Board with a recommendation to enable the Board to determine whether to grant parole and the appropriate conditions to impose on a parole order.
The day-to-day case management of prisoners on parole is undertaken by Corrections Victoria parole officers. The Board relies on reports and recommendations from Corrections Victoria in order to make decisions during the parole period.
Adult Parole Board
The Adult Parole Board is a decision making body. Its main responsibility is to make decisions about whether to grant, deny, defer or cancel a prisoner’s parole. Most of the functions of the Board are contained in the Corrections Act 1986 (opens in a new window).
In accordance with section 73A of that Act, the Board’s paramount consideration is always the safety and protection of the community. For more information, see Board decisions.
The Board is not responsible for preparing prisoners for parole, or for supervising and managing them while they are on parole. Rather, it is a decision making body that relies on information provided to it, primarily by Corrections Victoria, to make decisions in accordance with its statutory authority.
Victoria Police are involved in parole in three ways.
- Police provide information to the Board to assist the Board to make its decisions.
- If the Board cancels parole and issues a warrant for the arrest of the parolee, a specialist unit within Victoria Police is responsible for locating the parolee and returning them to custody. If the parolee has left Victoria, police are responsible for co-ordinating with the authorities in other states or territories to arrange for the extradition of the parolee back to Victoria. For more information, see breach, detention and cancellation.
- Separately from their function of carrying out an arrest warrant issued by the Board when it cancels parole, if in the course of their ordinary duties police encounter a parolee who is breaking the law or otherwise breaching certain parole conditions, the police may arrest the parolee and notify the Board. Board members are available outside business hours to decide whether the matter is sufficiently serious that police should continue to detain the parolee until the Board can convene a meeting to decide whether to cancel parole. For more information, see breach, detention and cancellation.