About the Parole Board
The Parole Board is an independent statutory body, first established 1970. The Board comprises nine members, appointed by the Governor of SA, to assess risk and determine whether to grant, deny, terminate or revoke parole, and to set appropriate conditions for parole release.
Parole Board Membership
Certain positions on the Board are defined by statute:
- the Presiding Member (Chairperson) is required to be either, a judge of the Supreme Court or District Court or a person who has extensive knowledge of and experience in the science of criminology, penology or any related science;
- two members are appointed as Deputy Presiding Members;
- one member must be a qualified medical practitioner with extensive knowledge of, and experience in, psychiatry;
- one member must be a qualified social worker or sociologist;
- one member must have extensive knowledge and experience in matters related to the impact of crime on victims and the needs of victims of crime;
- one member must be a person of Aboriginal descent;
- one member must be a former Police officer; and
- there is one additional deputy (occasional) member appointed to replace a member who is unable to attend a Board meeting.
Board membership has been structured in such a way that two meetings can be held simultaneously, doubling the number of parolees who can be assessed.
The Parole Board performs the following functions:
- considers applications for release on parole from prisoners serving sentences of five years or more;
- considers applications from prisoners sentenced to life imprisonment, whether or not to make a recommendation to the Governor in Executive Council for release on Parole;
- makes orders to release prisoners serving a 12 month sentence or more, but less than five years, (other than those convicted of sexual offences, offences of personal violence and arson, for which automatic release has been removed);
- sets (and can later amend) the terms and conditions for the release of all prisoners who have been granted parole;
- reviews ongoing progress/performance of parolees;
- determines appropriate penalty of a proven breach of parole;
- annually reviews the circumstances of prisoners sentenced to a life term and those serving indeterminate sentences; and
- makes recommendations to the Prisoner Assessment Committee re proposed Pre-release case management plans and home detention applications for prisoners serving a sentence of five years or more.
Parole Board Meetings
- Board meetings are held once or twice weekly, usually on Tuesdays and/or Thursdays.
- The Parole Board can sit as a full Board, with a minimum of five members, or as a division, comprising three members including the Presiding or Deputy Presiding Member.
- Parole Board meetings are held in a permanent meeting room, located in the Adelaide CBD. The facility has adjacent holding cells to accommodate prisoners awaiting a hearing before the Board.
Parole Board Secretariat
- The Secretariat provides administrative support to the Parole Board and functions as an administrative unit of the Department. It comprises of a Secretary/Executive Officer and nine administrative staff.
- The Secretary/Executive Officer answers directly to the Presiding Member in relation to all Board matters and to the Director, Community Corrections in relation to administrative matters.
- The Parole Board Secretariat is located in the same building as the Parole Board meetings are held.
Victims of Crime
- Submissions are invited from victims who are registered with the Department. Non registered victims can contact the Board independently.
- Victims may make written submissions to the Board or, by prior arrangement with the Board, make submissions in person.
- These submissions are taken into account when the Board considers an application for parole or when it sets conditions for release.
- Where there is a known victim(s), a condition of parole prohibits the offender from contacting the victim(s).
- Victims may request the Board set particular conditions such as in relation to where the offender resides or should not attend, i.e. towns, shops, schools.
Breaches of Parole Conditions
Parolees who breach their conditions appear before the Board. If they have been returned to prison, they will be escorted to appear before the Board.
Penalties for a breach of conditions include:
- automatic cancellation of parole (where a breach of a designated condition is proved);
- imprisonment for a specified period;
- a community service order; and
- a reprimand and warning (for breaches of standard conditions).
It is policy to extradite parolees who have absconded or who commit breaches/offences in other States & Territories, where appropriate.