On 26 October 2017, the Sentencing Advisory Council received Terms of Reference from the Attorney General regarding “community-based sentencing orders, imprisonment and parole options”. At the core of the sentencing process is the effective rehabilitation, reintegration and supervision of prisoners released into the community. Other than those serving a life sentence, there must be an acknowledgment that at some point an offender will be released back into the community. Parole is crucial in reducing the risk of re-offending by those under supervision, prior to the end of their sentence.
The terms of reference are in response to the recommendations in the 2016 Queensland Parole System Review Final Report undertaken by the new president of the Court of Appeal, Walter Sofronoff. The examination of the parole system in followed widely published media reports of the alleged murder of Elizabeth Kippin by a man on parole.
Sentencing Advisory Council terms of reference
During the 18-month review, the Sentencing Advisory Council will look at recommendations 2–5 of the Sofronoff Report:
- Recommendation 2: Court ordered parole should be retained.
- Recommendation 3: A Court should have the discretion to set a parole release date or a parole eligibility date for sentences of greater than three years where the offender has served a period of time on remand and the Court considers that the appropriate further period in custody before parole should be no more than 12 months from the date of sentence.
- Recommendation 4: A suitable entity, such as the Sentencing Advisory Council, should undertake a review into sentencing options and in particular, community-based orders to advise the Government of any necessary changes to sentencing options.
- Recommendation 5: Court ordered parole should apply to a sentence imposed for a sexual offence.
The review will consider the relevant legislation, including
As part of the review, The Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council will consult with:
- Members of the public;
- the judiciary;
- legal profession;
- victim of crime groups;
- prisoner advocacy and support groups; and
- relevant government agencies.
- consultation paper and call for submissions – 2018:
- The Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council is to report back by 30 April 2019.
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