We argue that TJ offers a promising perspective for examining and reforming the parole process. To this end, this article has examined the NT’s COMMIT program through the TJ lens, drawing on comments from key stakeholders, including members of the NTPB. Our preliminary analysis suggests that COMMIT presents an encouraging path forwards, with several TJ-friendly aspects, although there is clearly also scope to extend this. It is important to note that, in Hawaii, HOPE consists of a deterrent structure coupled with a very important ingredient of therapeutic application of the law, and both the letter of the law and the therapeutic application should be part of any transplantation of the model. We acknowledge that it is early days in the delivery of COMMIT. The NTPB has suggested that ‘anecdotally this regime appears to be working well’, but its unequal availability across the NT requires further consideration. Furthermore, the ongoing commitment to the policy of not crediting street time when parole is revoked potentially muddies the overall impact of the program. Much about the COMMIT program still remains unknown, including the provision of support services and compliance/breach rates for program participants. Independent quantitative and qualitative research are clearly required. In addition, as Australia’s first HOPE-based program, research is warranted to determine how appropriate the model is here, although PBM40’s observation that ‘we’re a pretty unique jurisdiction, we can’t be judged to the rest of Australia’ should also be borne in mind.
Posted on by Kelly Smith