Number of people on parole in Bundaberg has dropped

THE number of people on parole in the Bundaberg region has fallen.

There were 292 parolees in the district in the 2013-14 financial year - a drop of 35 from the 2012-13 financial year.

Theft, robbery and stealing - with 157 offences - were the most common areas the Bundaberg Probation and Parole Office dealt with last financial year.

These were closely followed by driving and traffic-related offences, with 118 on the BPP's books.

There were 110 drug-related offences; 86 assault and violence offences; 69 bail, court order and statutory act breaches and escape or attempt to escape offences; 24 fraud, forgery and extortion offences; 20 weapons cases; and two arson cases.

A 2014 Productivity Commission Report found it cost about $297 per day to keep someone in prison.

A 2014 Australian Institute of Criminology study found that supervised parolees committed fewer offences than those who were released after serving their full sentence.

Legal expert Heather Douglas said Queensland's parole system had some shortcomings and that did not bode well for the community.

"We hear stories of people being on parole and having a parole officer and not being able to make contact with their parole officer when they need to," the University of Queensland law professor said.

"The focus on incapacitation through imprisonment is an incredibly short-sighted approach because the best place to learn new tricks of criminal offending is in prison."



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