A number of changes were made by the Parole Amendment Act 2007 to the Parole Act 2002 on 1 October 2007. Many of the changes came into force on that date. Some of the changes will come into force on a future date pending other law changes.
The main changes that are in force from 1 October 2007 are as follows:
The Board no longer determines applications for home detention. Home detention is now a sentencing option that can only be imposed by the sentencing court.
“Residential restrictions” is a new special condition of release that the Board may impose on an offender. The offender is subject to an electronic monitoring regime and must stay at the approved residence either at all times, or at times specified by the Board. Residential Restrictions can be imposed on all offenders subject to either; parole, compassionate release, an extended supervision order or release on their statutory release date.
More information about Residential Restrictions can be found in the 'Standard and Special Conditions' area of this website.
The Board has the ability to monitor an offender’s compliance with their conditions of release. The Board may ask the Department of Corrections for a report on an offender’s progress in complying with their release conditions. It may also require the offender to attend a hearing with the Board after their release. Each of these actions may be undertaken no more than once every three months for a limited time (maximum 12 months) after the offender is released.
More information about monitoring compliance with an offender’s release conditions can be found in the 'Standard and Special Conditions' area of this website.
The chairperson or a panel convenor of the Board now has the power to issue a summons requiring a person to attend and give evidence at a hearing. A summons can also require a person to produce any books, papers, documents, records or things in the person’s possession or control that are relevant to the subject of the matter before the Board. Every witness giving evidence before the Board has the same privileges and immunities as a witness in a court of law.
The Commissioner of Police and the Chief Executive of the Department of Corrections can each apply to the chairperson, or a panel convenor, of the Board for a confidentiality order. A confidentiality order can forbid the disclosure or publication of specified information to any person other than the members of the Board considering a case or other specified officials. Any information that is subject to a confidentiality order may not be disclosed to an offender or their counsel.
The Commissioner of Police now has the ability to make a recall application. The only ground on which the application can be made however, is that the offender "poses an undue risk to the safety of the community".
The new law introduced specific standard extended supervision order conditions for offenders subject to a court imposed extended supervision order. Prior to the law change these offenders were subject to the same standard release conditions as an offender released on parole.