Use this procedure when supervising young people serving their sentence in the community on a parole order.
When to use this procedure
When working with a young person who has been, or will be, placed on a parole order.
What else you need to know
Practice context and legislation
- Parole is not an order made by the court. Parole can only be granted by the Youth Parole Board (the board) to young people undergoing a sentence in a youth justice precinct. A parole order is the community-based component of a custodial sentence imposed by a court. It gives young people the chance to serve part of their custodial sentence in the community, and enables their gradual reintegration into the community in a planned way with support and supervision.
- In general only young people serving a sentence of six months or longer are considered eligible for parole. For those young people whom the board consider eligible for parole, the following factors are taken into account:
- the length of sentence and any time already served
- the seriousness of the offence for which the custodial sentence was imposed
- the nature of the support and supervision to be provided to the young person upon return to the community
- whether the young person is subject to any other court order.
- The young person remains under the jurisdiction and monitoring of the board until the completion of their parole. At any time prior to the completion of parole, the board may formally warn a young person or cancel the parole, issue a warrant and order the young person to be returned to custody.
- The timelines for consideration of parole is a decision of the board. However, in cases where a young person with a minimum period imposed by the court is transferred from prison to a youth justice precinct, the board may not consider a young person for parole until the minimum sentence is served.
- In most instances, the transition from custody to community includes a period of planned leave immediately preceding a parole order being granted by the board. This period of leave further supports the young person's ability to complete their parole order satisfactorily.
Roles and key tasks
- Case manager
- Team leader / team manager
- Assistant Director / Manager Individual and Family Support
- Youth Justice Senior Practice Advisor
- Prepare parole plan, parole plan updates, and parole progress reports as requested by the board.
- Explain parole order, and consequences of failure to comply, to young person prior to their appearance before the board.
- Attend board meetings and provide support to young person.
- Provide case management to the young person on parole, and update boards regarding progress and compliance.
Team leader / team manager
- Be available to case manager for consultation.
- Endorse parole plans and updates.
- Issue warnings and authorise breach action where appropriate.
- Authorise requests for cancellation.
Assistant Director / Manager Individual and Family Support
- Provide oversight, direction and monitoring of the area youth justice service.
- Provide case consultation for young people exhibiting high-risk behaviours.
Youth Justice Senior Practice Advisor
- Provide case consultation in relation to recommendations, breaches and particularly for high-risk young people. This should occur subject to local area agreements between Assistant Director / Manager Individual Family Support and the Senior Practice Advisor.
The procedure in detail
- Sentences eligible for parole
- Review and parole dates
- Request for early parole
- Explaining a parole order
- Attending the board meeting
- Special conditions
Sentences eligible for parole
The Youth Parole Board (the board) generally considers young people with youth residential centre order or youth justice centre order sentences of six months or longer as eligible to be considered for parole.
Review and parole dates
At the commencement of a young person's custodial sentence the board sets a review date.
At the review date the custodial progress report will include a recommendation about the young person's suitability for future parole.
If deemed suitable for parole, the board will request a parole plan within a scheduled timeframe.
If the board is satisfied with the parole plan, the young person will generally be paroled two weeks from the date that the parole plan is considered.
The young person may not be paroled within this usual two-week timeframe if significant issues arise or they receive additional sentences, resulting in the recalculation of their review date.
A parole plan update may also be requested by the board if further information is required after consideration of the parole plan.
The request for a parole plan is sent to the area responsible for case management.
If the young person intends to move to another area on release from custody, refer to procedures for divisional/area case transfers.
Request for early parole
The board may approve applications for early parole in exceptional circumstances.
Grounds for requesting early parole include:
- if the young person has performed exceptionally well in the youth justice precinct and has an appropriate plan
- other exceptional circumstances that warrant consideration of early release.
All requests for consideration of early parole must be directed to the secretary of the Board.
Explaining a parole order
When the young person is detained in the youth justice precinct, explain the purpose and expectations of parole.
Before they appear before the parole board, give them the parole order fact sheet and brochure and reiterate the expectations of them if they are granted parole.
Explain duty of care, privacy and confidentiality guidelines to the young person and ensure they understand how these relate to their supervision while on parole.
Tell the young person that the board will ask if they understand, and consent to, the conditions (including any special conditions) of the parole order.
Tell the young person what the consequences will be if they fail to comply with the requirements of parole.
Attending the board meeting
On the scheduled day of parole, the young person attends the board meeting to be interviewed and formally granted parole.
The parole officer should also attend the meeting to provide support to the young person and be on hand to provide any information the board may require in addition to the submitted parole plan and/or parole plan update.
The parole officer must ensure that any other workers who will be involved in the young person's parole are informed of the date the young person is to be paroled and invited to attend the meeting if appropriate.
If a young person is involved with disability services, child protection or has a Koori youth justice worker, it is important for these workers to attend the board meeting with the parole officer.
If a parole officer is unsure of who to invite to a board meeting, they should consult with their team leader. Very complex, high-profile young people may require attendance by the area youth justice manager.
The secretary of the board must be informed of all workers or family members planning to attend the board meeting.
For other information relating to board meetings, refer to the procedure for ‘Attending the Youth Parole Board’.
The board has the power to impose special conditions to the whole period, or a specific period, of a parole order.
In a parole plan report, the parole officer must identify risk factors and any other issues that have contributed to the offence. They may recommend relevant special conditions, including:
- undergoing medical, psychiatric, psychological or drug counselling or treatment
- attending Male Adolescent Program for Positive Sexuality (MAPPS)
- any other condition the board considers necessary.
The parole officer must:
- inform the young person of the reason for the recommendation of a special condition at the time of writing the parole plan
- explain that special conditions will be closely monitored and that there are consequences for non compliance
- organise for special conditions to commence at the beginning of the parole period. Where possible, arrangements should be made prior to the commencement of parole
- as required, accompany the young person to the first appointment/s at another service, to support the establishment of ongoing attendance.
The young person can make an application to the board to have a special condition removed from their parole order.
- (, PDF)
- Youth justice custodial practice manual (intranet only)
- New directions for social housing: a framework for a strong and sustainable future
- Youth Justice Centre Order fact sheet (639.6 KB, PDF)
- Youth Residential Order fact sheet (640.4 KB, PDF)