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Parole is the conditional release of an offender from custody. When an offender is granted parole, they serve the unexpired portion of their prison sentence in the community.
Offenders who do not obtain parole and are released at the end of their sentence are not subject to the supervision, support and ongoing rehabilitation that parole provides. If the prospect of parole is removed from a prisoner, there is less incentive to undertake steps designed to reduce the risk of reoffending.
The Adult Parole Board decides whether an offender will be released on parole. When deciding whether to release an offender on parole, the Board’s most important consideration is community safety. Parole is served under the supervision of a Community Corrections Officer and on conditions fixed by the Adult Parole Board. While on parole, an offender is still considered to be under sentence.
The purpose of parole is to supervise and support the reintegration of offenders into the community. This supervision and support benefits the wider community by reducing the risk that offenders will commit further offences when released into the community.
Review of the Parole System in Victoria
In May 2013, the Victorian Government commissioned former High Court Justice Ian Callinan AC to carry out a review of the Adult Parole Board’s operations.
Mr Callinan's report is available here. Note: some material in the report has been redacted for operational and legal reasons.
Further to Mr Callinan's report, the Corrections Victoria Deputy Commissioner's Instructions and Adult Parole Board Manuals relevant to parole management are now publicly available.
In response to Mr Callinan's report, Corrections Victoria has introduced a new integrated risk assessment and management framework for parole. The Victoria's Parole System publication provides an overview and details of each stage of the parole process.
The privacy principles contained in the Corrections Act 1986 (Vic) and the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic) prescribe how the Adult Parole Board shall handle information collected and received about offenders.