Rights in the parole process

What is parole?

Parole is a decision to release an offender from prison before the end of their sentence if they promise good behaviour.

Who can apply for parole?
Offenders serving life sentences who have completed at least 12 years of their sentence.

This release can be permanent or temporary, and the decision can be reversed at any time.

How do I take part?
You have to register with the Parole Board to take part in the process. Register here with the Parole Board.

Right to legal aid

You have the right to a lawyer to advise and represent you before the Parole Board, and this will be free.

The offender will also have a lawyer help them make their submissions.

Right to keep your personal information confidential

In any order granting or refusing parole, any personal details that might identify you as a victim (for example, your home address) will be excluded unless there is a special reason to include them. If this is the case, your legal aid lawyer can explain to you why this decision was made.

Right to participate

You have the right to take part in the parole process.

The Parole Board can invite victim representations when:

  • They are deciding whether to grant an offender parole
  • They are deciding to revoke an offender’s parole
  • They are considering varying the date of release or any attached conditions.

You can take part in the parole process by meeting with the Parole Board (at least two members) and either making written submissions or by making your views known orally and in person at parole hearings. The offender will not be there.

You can make your oral or written submissions yourself, or your lawyer can do it for you.

You can make a personal statement like you did at the sentencing stage with the Victim Impact Statement.

Right to information

You have the right to information about the parole process. If the offender is seeking parole, you have the right to be told, and it will be explained to you what the process is and how you may take part in that process.

You must register with the Parole Board to be kept informed. Register here with the Parole Board.

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