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 Parole

This page provides information for federal offenders who will be, or currently are, on parole and their supervisors.

State and territory offenders should refer to state and territory corrective services websites.

On this page:

About parole
Parole conditions
Travel while on parole
Non-citizen parolees
Breach of parole
Get more information

About parole

A parole order authorises a person’s release from prison.  The person must consent to the conditions in the parole order before they can be released.

During a parole period an offender is allowed to serve the remainder of their prison sentence in the community, subject to conditions.

In the case of a life sentence, the parole and supervision periods will be specified in the parole order. For all other sentences, the parole and supervision periods will generally be the time remaining on the sentence on the date of the person’s release from prison.

Parole conditions

Commonwealth parole orders consist of general and specific conditions.

The general conditions apply to all offenders and involve duties while under supervision. These include:

  • reporting to their parole officer
  • obtaining approval from their parole officer for their accommodation and employment
  • keeping the parole officer informed of any changes of address or job, and
  • requesting permission from the relevant authorities for any travel interstate or overseas.

Specific conditions relate to any particular issues that have been identified in respect of the parolee. Examples of specific conditions include requirements to attend financial, gambling or psychological counselling, drug addiction treatment or to undertake drug testing.

Find out what happens if you breach parole conditions.

Travel while on parole

Interstate travel

Travelling interstate on parole is a matter for the relevant state or territory agency. Check the interstate travel condition in your parole order to find out from whom you need to get permission before you can travel interstate. Please speak to your parole officer if you wish to travel interstate.

Overseas travel

You must obtain written permission from the Attorney-General or their delegate before you can travel overseas. Apply to travel overseas.

Don’t apply for a passport or make any travel arrangements before you receive written permission to travel from the delegate of the Attorney-General.

A Commonwealth parolee or licensee who leaves Australia without such permission is in breach of their parole conditions.

Federal offenders subject to Commonwealth parole orders are still serving their sentence and are permitted to live and work in the Australian community under parole supervision. Frequent or ongoing overseas travel is not appropriate for a person who is on parole, nor is it compatible with parole obligations.

During the first quarter of your parole period, overseas travel will only be approved in urgent and/or exceptional circumstances. Applications for overseas travel are determined on a case by case basis having regard to the purpose of parole, which is the rehabilitation of the offender through re-integration into the community under supervision. The maximum period of travel permitted during this time is four weeks.

For the remainder of your parole period, overseas travel will only be approved for a legitimate reason that cannot be delayed until the end of the parole or licence period. Overseas travel is not consistent with the intention of parole which involves supervision to support an offender's reintegration into the community. Overseas travel for the purpose of a holiday will not normally be approved. The maximum period of travel permitted during this time is six weeks.

Apply to travel overseas

Apply to travel through your parole officer and your supervising parole service.

There is no particular form your application must take. However, it should be:

  • in writing
  • contain detailed information about the grounds on which you are seeking to travel overseas
  • made at least two months before you plan to travel, unless the particular circumstances of your application do not allow such time.

The parole service will be asked to prepare a written report for the department to consider. It should include:

  • reasons for the intended travel, including any supporting documentary evidence
  • proposed itinerary, including the proposed departure date, length of proposed travel and intended accommodation
  • names of any persons accompanying the parolee or licensee during their travel
  • details of the parolee's current employment
  • the parolee's response to parole supervision.

In considering applications, we may seek further information from the applicant or seek comments on the claims made in the applications from agencies involved in the case. For example, the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, the Australian Federal Police and the state and territory corrective services departments. We may supply your application and any supporting material provided to the relevant agencies as part of this process. We will do this in accordance with our privacy policy.

If you are not an Australian citizen, you should contact the Department of Home Affairs before you leave to make sure you can return to Australia after any period of travel.

Contact the country where you intend to travel to find out their visa and/or other entry requirements. Some countries will not allow people with convictions for drug and/or other offences to enter into or to transit through their country. Find out more on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.

Non-citizen parolees

Federal offenders who are foreign nationals will generally be removed from Australia after their release from prison.  The Department of Home Affairs arranges for departure as soon as possible after their release from prison.

Federal offenders who were permanent residents of Australia at the time of their imprisonment may have their visas cancelled by the Department of Home Affairs.  They may appeal against the cancellation of their visas.  If they are successful, they will be allowed to remain in Australia on parole.  If they are not successful, they will be removed from Australia.  If the Department of Home Affairs has not made a decision on their case before they are released from prison, they will be taken into immigration detention.

Re-entering Australia during the period of a parole order is a matter for the Department of Home Affairs to decide.

Find out more on the Department of Home Affairs website.

Breach of parole

If a Commonwealth parolee fails to comply with the conditions of release set out in the parole order, or commits a further criminal offence while on parole, their parole could be revoked and they may have to serve a further period of imprisonment.

If a Commonwealth parolee is convicted of a further offence and is sentenced to imprisonment for more than three months, parole is revoked automatically. At that time the court will decide what further period of imprisonment should be served.

If a Commonwealth parolee breaks the conditions of the parole order it could be revoked. In most cases the parolee will be notified of the breach and given fourteen days to submit reasons as to why the parole should not be revoked. If the parole is revoked a magistrate will determine what further period of imprisonment should be served.

Get more information

For more information, email the Commonwealth Parole Office at cpo@ag.gov.au

You can also write to:

Principal Legal Officer
Commonwealth Parole Office
Attorney-General's Department
3-5 National Circuit
BARTON ACT 2600

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