27 Sep 2012

Parole cutback legislation introduced

2:10 am on 27 September 2012

As many as 800 parole hearings a year could be cut, saving up to $1 million, under new legislation tabled in Parliament.

At the moment, the Parole Board must assess every offender who is eligible for parole once a year.

The Parole Amendment Bill extends that annual expectation to two years.

The legislation would also mean a prisoner serving life or preventive detention may have to wait half a decade for a parole hearing, rather than the current three years.

Justice Minister Judith Collins says the changes are aimed at avoiding needless stress and anxiety for victims.

She says it makes no sense to hold parole hearings for offenders who refuse to acknowledge their crimes, or who are making little or no effort to mend their ways.

She also expects the change to save almost $1 million a year.