Eligibility for Parole

A person’s access to parole starts in court. When imposing a prison sentence, a judge or magistrate will decide if a convicted person will be eligible to apply for parole in accordance with the legislation.

If a prisoner’s sentence allows for the possibility of parole, they will be given a date on which they become eligible to be considered. In the case of sentences of four years or less, a prisoner is required to serve at least half that period in custody before being eligible to be released on parole. For sentences in excess of four years, a prisoner is eligible to be released on parole when they get to within two years of their end date. They are not allowed to be released any time before this date.

Under one year - parole entitlement mandatory

When a court sentences a prisoner who has not committed a "serious offence" or is not a "prescribed prisoner" to less than 12 months, parole will be mandatory. Conditions will most likely still apply.

A prisoner who has previously offended is classified as a "prescribed prisoner". This means they are either:

Under one year - parole entitlement discretionary

Where a prescribed prisoner received a sentence of less than 12 months, parole must be considered by the PRB applying the release considerations.

Under four years

In the case of sentences of four years or less, a prisoner is required to serve half that period in custody before being eligible to be released on parole. Parole must be considered prior to the prisoner’s earliest eligibility date.

More than four years

For sentences in excess of four years, a prisoner is eligible to be released on parole when they have served all but the last two years of their term.

Last updated: 10-Oct-2016

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