What is the difference between bail and parole?

Bail is an agreement by an accused to attend court to answer a criminal charge.  Bail can only be given by the courts to a person before sentencing.

Parole is the period of an inmate's sentence that a Sentencing Judge decides should be served in the community. The Sentencing Judge also sets a non parole period part of the sentence which is the time that must be served in prison.  

What is the difference between a parole closed meeting and a public review hearing?

A closed meeting is only attended by the five members of a SPA panel. Offenders and their legal representative do not appear at closed meetings.

A public review hearing is held in court and is open to the public, media and victims of crime if they wish to attend. Inmates appear via Audio Visual Link and legal representatives appear in person before the SPA.

How do I request a comment from the SPA?

You can request information or comment by contacting the media officer and emailing the details of your request to: 

SPA responses will be in writing.

How do I find out about an offender coming up for parole?

Court lists are published every week but you can contact the media officer at for information about all parole matters.

Are cameras allowed in court?

No. On occasions the SPA may give permission for a pool camera to cover a high profile matter. Requests must be made in writing to the media officer and approval granted by the Director. Court artists are allowed.

Can I dial into court proceedings?

Yes, but only if Covid restrictions and health orders are in place. For some matters this may also be possible, however permission must first be sought by contacting the media officer.

Can I access documents before the SPA in review hearings?

Media cannot access copies of reports which are before the State Parole Authority during parole review hearings. 

How do I get copies of Judge’s determinations or media releases?

Parole determinations and media releases are available on the website. You can also contact the media officer and be placed on the Media Distribution Email List and you will automatically receive all media releases, advisories and published decisions.

You can also follow SPA on Twitter @NSWParole for all the latest news.

How do I find out which prison an offender is housed? 

Contact CSNSW Media for information or contact Corrective Services NSW on (02) 8346 1000 for location of inmates in custody.

How soon is an offender released after parole is granted?

Parole for non-serious offenders is generally decided in closed meetings and if granted the date of release from custody will be the expiry date of the non-parole period or another date set by the SPA.

Serious offenders appearing before review hearings are usually given a release date range – ie, a date “no earlier than” and “no later than”. This date range is set for at least 2 weeks beyond the date the decision is handed down. This is to allow time for CSNSW to make appropriate arrangements for the offender’s release and to allow for any appeals to be filed.

Who manages release from prison when parole is granted?

CSNSW is responsible for managing the release of all offenders from custody. Contact CSNSW Media for information on (02) 8346 1336

Last updated:

19 Jul 2022

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