What we do
Long-term offenders serving more than two years in prison must be considered for release by the New Zealand Parole Board (NZPB).
The Board makes risk assessments on whether these offenders should be released to complete their sentence in the community, subject to parole conditions.
Parole encourages people to address their offending and its causes, to rehabilitate themselves to live in society without being a risk to the community.
Release on parole, with monitoring for recall to prison, provides a real incentive to not re-offend.
For offenders who have not been given parole, and are at the end of their sentence, the Board sets release conditions to last for six months past their sentence end date.
Two types of conditions can be imposed when the Board decides to release an offender on parole:
- Standard conditions, set out in the Parole Act, are imposed on all offenders and must last for at least six months
- Special conditions, outlined in the Parole Act, are tailored by the Board for individual offenders
Special conditions may not be imposed for longer than standard release conditions. The Board may suspend some, or all, of the standard release conditions if they are not compatible with the special release conditions it wants to impose.
When an offender is released from prison on parole, they are required to comply with the conditions imposed by the Board or face the prospect of a recall to prison.
When an offender has reached their statutory release date, they are required by law to be released.
In this situation the Board's only role is to set conditions which last for six months. The offender is not able to be recalled within this time.
Community Corrections can, however, prosecute a breach of release conditions via the courts.
Functions of the New Zealand Parole Board
- consider offenders for parole, or release on compassionate grounds (on referral by the Chair);
- set the conditions for offenders released at their statutory release dates, and for offenders released on parole or compassionate grounds;
- consider and determine applications for the variation and discharge of release conditions;
- consider the imposition of postponement orders;
- consider applications for recall to prison;
- monitor compliance with release conditions for certain identified cases;
- develop policies pertaining to its functions, maintain appropriate records of its work, and provide information to offenders, victims, and the general public.