Warning over politicising parole system

Allowing attorneys-general to make decisions about parole is a "recipe for corruption", warns the NSW Council for Civil Liberties president Stephen Blanks.

Malcolm Turnbull will meet with state and territory leaders in Hobart on Friday to discuss an overhaul of the parole system after Melbourne parolee Yacqub Khayre shot dead a clerk and took a woman hostage in an apartment block on Monday night.

The prime minister said any decision to grant parole to a person with a background of violence and terrorist-related activity should go "to the very top", referring to state attorneys-general.

Mr Blanks said Mr Turnbull, as a lawyer, should know the role of attorney-general is "a political role not a judicial role".

"If a decision to grant parole is to be subject to approval of an attorney-general, one might take bets as to how soon it will be before an attorney-general was the subject of proceedings in ICAC for corruption - it is a recipe for corruption," Mr Blanks told AAP on Wednesday.

Article: Warning over politicising parole system. The content we linked to is no longer available

Source: The Australian

He said it was the role of parliament to make laws, "not to make the decisions under the laws".

Mr Blanks said parole boards took their jobs very seriously, but there was a question around proper resourcing so supervision of parolees was effective.

"There needs to be a look at why recidivism rates are what they are and whether jails are operating as universities of crime or whether they are being effective in enabling prisoners to address their issues," he said.

"These issues are not political - they are about evidence-based programs to best protect the community.

"It is in the community's interest, cost-wise and socially, to have people address their issues while they are in prison and have proper supervision programs in place when they are on parole, and for parole boards to be able to carry out their work professionally without political interference."