You are here: ACTLawHbk » ACTLawHandbook » Parole


For most sentences that are at least one year long, a detainee may apply to be released on parole at the end of their non-parole period (for example, if they have a sentence of 8 years and their non-parole is 5 years, they will become eligible to apply for parole after 5 years. If this is granted, they will serve the last 3 years of their sentence in the community). Detainees should speak to their caseworker about their application for parole. If parole is granted, the detainee will be released to serve the remainder of their sentence in the community. Decisions on parole in the ACT are made by the Sentence Administration Board.

Part 7.2 of the Crimes (Sentence Administration) Act 2005 governs the making of parole orders. It requires offenders to apply to the Board, in writing, for consideration to be released on parole. This can be done no earlier than six months before their eligibility date.

If the offender believes that they have exceptional circumstances, they may make a special application for parole at any time. These applications must include a written submission about the exceptional circumstances.

If the Board accepts an application for parole, it must conduct an inquiry into the application. The Board will invite submissions from relevant parties and call for reports on the offender. These reports commonly include reports from a case manager, prison staff and any other relevant report, such as psychological and drug and alcohol assessments.

Victims of the offender’s offences who are registered on the Victims Register are also contacted and invited to write a submission to the Board in relation to the possible release of the prisoner.

If the Board considers at the inquiry that the documents it has do not justify paroling the offender, it must set a time for a hearing into the offender’s application for parole and give notice of the hearing. The offender is then invited to tell the Board if they wish to either appear at the hearing (with legal representation if desired) or make a submission to the Board about being paroled. If the offender does not respond to the invitation for the hearing or fails to make a submission within the given timeframe the Board is taken to have made a decision to refuse parole to the offender.

It is the practice of the Board to inform the offender of the issues of concern to the Board. For example, these issues may include such things as:
  • failure to address offending behaviour
  • the need for further alcohol and other drug counselling
  • unsuitable, unconfirmed or no post-release plans/accommodation
  • the risk of re-offending
  • the need for psychological/psychiatric assessment in relation to risk, diagnosis and/or treatment
  • poor behaviour in custody
  • past failures on conditional liberty (for example, bail)
  • the need to complete programs or
  • outstanding criminal charges.
After the Board conducts the hearing it is required to either make a parole order for the offender or refuse to make a parole order for the offender.

For more information see the Sentencing section and the information under Community corrections below.

This site is powered by FoswikiCopyright © by the contributing authors. All material on this collaboration platform is the property of the contributing authors.
Ideas, requests, problems regarding AustLII Communities? Send feedback
This website is using cookies. More info. That's Fine