Saturday, May 21, 2005

Parole Board Membership

NSW: The Law Society is aware that two former long standing police officers Mr Robert Inkster, an Mr Peter Walsh, were appointed to the Parole Board as Community Members for a period of three years from 17 January 2005 until 16 January 2008.

The Law Society is concerned at the potential perception of bias on the Parole Board due to the strong representation of former police officers serving as Community Members.

The NSW Police Service has representative serving as and Official Member on the Parole Board pursuant to section 183(2)(b) of the Crimes (Administration of Sentences) Act 1999. At least ten community members are appointed to the Parole Board who are to reflect as closely as possible the composition of the community at large (s183(2)(e)).

The Law Society acknowledges that it would be unfair to preclude someone with a police service background being appointed as a community member on the grounds that he or she is not representative of the community.

However, members of the public may perceive that Parole Board members who are former police officers may tend to favour the interests of the NSW Police, which are narrower than the interests of the community.

Including two former members of the NSW Police as Community Members is not keeping with the need for a broad range of views being available to the Parole Board, preferably from parties who are not open to being accused of bias because of their present or former careers.

While the Law Society is not suggesting that there will be actual bias on the Parole Board, it is concerned that the perception of bias should be avoided.

The Law Society suggests that when future Community Members are appointed that the perception of bias is an important matter to be taken into consideration.

NSW Legislative Council Hansard 01/03/2005

The Hon, Peter Breen: My question is directed to the Minister for Justice and Minister for Fair Trading. Is the Minister aware that Robert Bruce Inkster and Peter John Walsh, both policemen, have been appointed as community representatives to the Parole Board?

Does the Minister agree that those appointments do not reflect the composition of the community at large, as specified in the relevant legislation?

Does the Minister acknowledge a potential conflict of interesting that Mr Inkster and Mr Walsh may have had previous dealings as serving policeman with inmates whose parole the are reviewing?

Does the Minister acknowledge that the relevant legislation has a provision for at least one police officer to be appointed to the Parole Board?

Is it the Minister's intention to stack the Parole Board with current and former police officers?

The Hon. John Hatzistergos: The answer to the questions seriatim are: Yes, no, no yes and no.

NSW Parole Board and the Politics of NSW Prisons

Case No 1 Prisoners Letter to Bob Carr. Dear Premier, I refer to my complaints that the Parole Board and the Department of Corrective Services are acting contrary to imposed sentences and sentencing law principles.

Unlawful Parole Considerations

Probation and Parole Officers fulfill an important role within the criminal justice system by supervising, managing and providing assistance to offenders on conditional liberty?

Probation and Parole in NSW

Since I requested some help from Justice Action and the authorities just before Xmas for the then corrections personnel to assist me I was moved so that my parole prospects would be thwarted even further.


Well firstly thank you for sending the latest copy of Framed Magazine to me. I was very surprised, as I had no idea that I was still on your books. If you like I can send some more drawings for possible submission in the future.

Probation and Parole in NSW

I am a prisoner at the Goulburn Prison I refer to the New South Wales Crimes (Administration of Sentences) Act 1999 Sect 135.

By Just Us 21 May 05


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