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Prisoner's rights

Release from prison

Recall to prison from parole

Only offenders released on parole can be recalled to prison.

When you can be recalled to prison

Parole Act 2002, ss 60, 61

You can be recalled to prison from parole at any time up to the end of your full sentence (your “statutory release date”) if:

  • you’re a risk to the community, or to the safety of any particular person or group of people, or
  • you’ve breached your release conditions, or
  • you’ve committed a criminal offence for which a person could be sent to prison, or
  • you’re being electronically monitored (“residential restrictions”) and either:
  • you’re endangering the safety of anyone else who lives at your place, or
  • a suitable place to live is no longer available, or
  • you no longer want to be subject to electronically monitored.

Parole is something that applies only to people who are released early from a sentence of more than two years. If you were sentenced to prison for two years or less, you’re automatically released after serving half the sentence (rather than the Parole Board deciding whether you should be released on parole), and you can’t then be recalled to prison (see “When you’ll be released“).

The process for getting recalled

Parole Act 2002, ss 62-66

Your probation officer, the Department of Corrections or the police can apply to the Board for you to be recalled to prison. Effectively an application for recall is an application for your prison term to be re-imposed.

The recall application goes to a Panel Convener, who can make a temporary (“interim”) recall order until a hearing can be held. If an interim recall order is made you can be held in prison until the hearing.

The hearing to decide whether to make a full recall order usually takes place within two to four weeks later. If you need more time to prepare for your recall hearing you can ask for an adjournment so that the hearing is put off for a while.

It’s a really good idea to get a lawyer to help you. Legal aid is available for recall applications, if you qualify for legal aid.

Do I get to have a say about an application to have me recalled?

Parole Act 2002, s 65

Yes. You have the right to attend the Parole Board’s hearing and put your case forward. You’re also allowed to have a lawyer represent you at the hearing.

Can I get recalled to prison after my sentence end date (“statutory release date”)?

Parole Act 2002, s 71

If you breach your release conditions after the end of your full sentence, you can’t be recalled to prison, but you can be charged with breaching your release conditions and you might then get a new sentence of up to one year in prison.

Next Section | Compassionate release

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