Provisions for Better Management of Parolees Commence in NSW

Tuesday 6 March 2018 @ 10.29 a.m. | Legal Research

On 26 February 2018, sections relating to improved management of parolees of the Parole Legislation Amendment Act 2017 (NSW) (‘the Act’) were commenced by proclamation. Among other things, the amendments provide for improved guidelines for parole officers by clarifying their authority to impose penalties.

Main Legislative Changes

The main amendments to the Crimes (Administration of Sentences) Act 1999 (NSW) by the Act stipulate:

  • that the Parole Authority, in deciding how to manage a condition of a parole order, must have regard to maters such as risk to the community, the effect on any victim or victim’s family;
  • that it is a condition of a parole order that the offender is to be subject to supervision unless there are exceptional circumstances;
  • that the Parole Authority may revoke a parole order at any time before the offender is released under that order.

According to a media release issued by the NSW Department of Justice, the changes are a more effective way to manage an offender’s risk to the community:

"Additional changes to how parole breaches are managed mean that officers now have clear authority to impose penalties in response to less serious breaches, such as reporting late or missing a program session. Imposing a penalty closer to the time of breach is a more effective way of managing an offender's behaviour and risk."

During Parliamentary debate on the Bill, David Elliott, Minister for Counter Terrorism, Minister for Corrections, and Minister for Veterans Affairs, stated in his second reading speech:

“The bill will give Community Corrections and the State Parole Authority a clear range of sanctions to use in response to breaches. This will help them effectively manage risk and ensure compliance by authorising proportionate responses. This is in line with the Law Reform Commission's recommendations for a legislated system of graduated responses to breaches of parole. A similar framework exists in Queensland. Sanctions will be used together with interventions that help offenders take responsibility for their behaviour. This approach - in particular the use of intervention - has a strong evidence base from Australia and overseas, including in Canada and the United States of America. The approach being taken is about doing what has been shown to work to make the community safer and making the justice system work more efficiently.”

TimeBase is an independent, privately owned Australian legal publisher specialising in the online delivery of accurate, comprehensive and innovative legislation research tools including LawOne and unique Point-in-Time Products. Nothing on this website should be construed as legal advice and does not substitute for the advice of competent legal counsel.

Sources:

Parole Legislation Amendment Act 2017 (NSW), associated Bill, explanatory memorandum and second reading speeches, as published on TimeBase LawOne.

[media release] ‘Implementing the criminal justice reforms: Latest changes to enable smarter management of parolees,’ NSW Department of Justice, 26 February 2018.

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