The state government will introduce legislation to add a former police officer to the parole board, Police Minister Michael Ferguson announced on Sunday.
It’s one of three changes around law and order the government will debate this week, along with allowing someone fleeing family violence to break their lease, and removing early-release remissions from correctional facilities.
Mr Ferguson said the government had previously added a victim of crime representative to the parole board.
“We are ensuring that we have the right mix of people to really assess whether a person should be released on parole, and on what conditions,” he said.
“We’ll be bringing in legislation to ensure that we have a former police officer with police experience added to the parole board, and we hope Labor supports it.”
The government will also introduce legislation to allow magistrates to break a residential tenancy agreement as part of a family violence order.
Mr Ferguson said the government was acting on advice from experts.
“The evidence that the cabinet has been given is that unfortunately, when someone is fleeing a dangerous situation at home, they actually can be held back from being able to flee that situation from being locked into a lease,” he said.
“If the magistrate agrees as part of a family violence order that a woman should be able to be released from a residential tenancy agreement then we agree that that’s what should happen.
“Currently that can’t happen, so we need to change the law.”
The government will also attempt to remove remissions from correctional facilities for the second time.
Remissions allow a prisoner to be released from a correctional facility up to three months before their sentence is complete.
Prison staff decide if a remission will be granted, in a different system to parole which is granted by a specialist board.
Mr Ferguson said Tasmania was the only state that still practiced remissions.
“Remissions are basically early release from jail – we’ll be getting rid of early release from jail,” he said.
“We believe that offenders who are convicted and sentenced should serve their full time.
“We believe [this legislation] is necessary and overdue, and is part of modernising our corrections and sentencing regime.”
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