The Youth Parole Board is established by sections 442 of the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005. The board exercises jurisdiction over all young people sentenced by a court to a period of detention in a youth justice custodial centre and over young people transferred by the Adult Parole Board from imprisonment in adult prison to serve their sentence in a youth justice centre.
Parole allows young people on a youth justice centre order (15–20 year olds) or youth residential centre order (10–14 year olds) to serve part of a custodial sentence in the community. Parole workers at regional youth justice units supervise young people on parole orders.
The board is made up of a chairperson, being a judge of the County Court, two community members (one of whom must be a female) and one member from the Department of Justice and Regulation. All sitting members have an alternate member who is able to sit in their absence. The board members are appointed for a period of up to three years and may be re-appointed.
Courts imposing sentences of detention in a youth justice custodial centre do not have the option of setting a minimum term to be served in custody. The board has discretion to determine parole eligibility and each case is taken on its own merits.
The board makes decisions concerning the granting of parole, variation or cancellation of parole and transfers between jurisdictions. In 2015–16 the board paroled 182 males and 11 females on youth justice centre orders.
The board generally meets on a fortnightly basis. The board receives and considers case histories, client service plans, parole review reports, psychiatric and psychological reports and progress reports on young people in custody and on parole to assist in their decision-making.
The Youth Parole Board is committed to the rehabilitation and best outcomes for young people under their jurisdiction. The board makes decisions within a framework that balances the needs of the young person with community safety considerations. The board works closely with custodial staff and parole officers to assist young people involved with the youth justice system to address problems, smoothly transition into the community and successfully complete their parole period.