This article Understanding Parole in Victoria – A guide to application, success, cancellation and offences while on parole is written by Emma Turnbull, Director, Emma Turnbull Lawyers, Specialist Criminal Lawyer.
A passionate and fearless advocate, Emma appears regularly in all courts across the Victorian criminal law jurisdiction defending clients charged with any level of crime; from driving offences to homicide. Emma is the managing partner of the firm and prides herself on sharing her wealth of experience and knowledge in a way that her staff and clients can easily comprehend.
What is parole? Parole is a supervised release program that allows eligible offenders to reintegrate into the community before completing their full prison sentence. This pamphlet aims to provide essential basic information about parole in Victoria, including how to apply, tips for success, what happens when parole is cancelled, and the consequences of being charged with another offense while on parole.
- Applying for Parole: To apply for parole, these general steps will apply:
- Eligibility Assessment: The Adult Parole Board assesses your eligibility based on factors such as offense nature, behaviour in prison, and the perceived risk to the community by your early release from prison. They will take into account your efforts at rehabilitation while serving your sentence.
- Parole Plan: Develop a comprehensive parole plan that outlines accommodation, employment, support networks, and rehabilitation programs to aid successful reintegration.
- Parole Hearing: Present your case for parole during a hearing. The Board considers your rehabilitation efforts, risk factors, and opinions of relevant parties.
- Parole Conditions: If parole is granted, it will be subject to conditions. These can include reporting to a parole officer, participating in programs, and abiding by behaviour (for example abstinence from alcohol) and contact restrictions.
- Tips for Successful Parole: To increase your chances of a successful parole experience, consider the following:
- Compliance: Follow all parole conditions, including reporting requirements, program participation, and curfew restrictions.
- Rehabilitation: Engage in rehabilitation programs and counselling to address the issues that contributed to your offending behaviour.
- Stability: Establish stable accommodation if you can, employment, and support networks to aid in your reintegration. During your sentence you should speak with family or friends about what opportunities may be available for you post release.
- Positive Attitude: Demonstrate a genuine commitment to change, showing remorse and accepting responsibility for your actions.
- Parole Cancellation: Parole may be cancelled if you fail to comply with the conditions, commit further offences or pose a perceived unacceptable risk to the community. Consequences of parole cancellation can include return to custody or imposition of stricter conditions upon re-release.
- Offences While on Parole: Committing another offence while on parole has serious consequences. If you are charged with a new offence, you may face:
- Arrest and Detention: You can be arrested and held in custody until the new charges are resolved.
- Parole Revocation: Parole may be revoked, resulting in return to custody to serve the remaining sentence.
- Additional Sentencing: If convicted of the new offence, you may receive a separate sentence that will be served concurrently or cumulatively with the existing sentence. Further you can be charged with the stand alone offence of breach of parole which has a maximum penalty of three months’ imprisonment.
Please note that the information provided is a general in nature, for information and advice specific to your circumstances contact our office.
About the Directors:
Emma Turnbull is a passionate advocate for justice, equality, and empowerment. With her deep commitment to making a positive impact, she has dedicated her life to fighting for the rights of individuals facing prosecution by the State and promoting social change.
“I firmly believe that each and every one of us has the power to create meaningful change. It starts by finding our voices, standing up for what is right, and ensuring that everyone, whether they have a five day or three month jury trial, receives a fair hearing. My goal is that win or lose, every client feels they have received a fair trial, with their voice heard and their best defence put forward.”
Adrian Lewin is a seasoned criminal lawyer renowned for his unwavering dedication to defending the rights of individuals facing legal challenges. With his extensive experience and expertise in criminal law, Adrian has successfully represented clients in a wide range of complex cases. Known for his strategic thinking and meticulous preparation, he tirelessly fights for justice, ensuring that every client receives the strongest possible defence.