Snowtown accomplice Mark Haydon remains in custody almost six weeks after being granted his freedom by the South Australian Parole Board, with the board’s chair saying it is “concerning” that the 65-year-old is being denied supervised time in the community.

Haydon was granted parole on February 21 but is yet to be released because of an automatic 60-day review provision within the Correctional Services Act.

He has spent 25 years in prison for assisting the Snowtown killers in hiding the bodies of seven of the 11 people they murdered.

Haydon’s wife Elizabeth was among those who were killed over a seven-year period between 1992 and 1999.

Haydon with wife, and murder victim, Elizabeth Haydon.(The Advertiser)

The crimes were uncovered when eight decomposing bodies were found in barrels in a disused bank in Snowtown in May 1999.

Haydon has been in custody since then.

Parole Board chair Frances Nelson KC said that under the law, in terms of parole review, Haydon is treated the same as convicted killers.

“Even though he’s not convicted of murder there was an amendment to the act where, because he’s been convicted of assisting an offender, he’s been dealt with as if he has committed murder,” Ms Nelson said.

Under the act, the Police Commissioner, the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Victims’ Rights can ask for a review of a parole board decision within 60 days of the original decision.

The two-month delay in Haydon’s release will limit the time the parole board has to direct and assess Haydon’s behaviour in the community to less than a month before his head sentence is completed on May 20.

“I must say that is concerning,” Ms Nelson said.

Frances Nelson KC said it would be of benefit both to Haydon and the community for him to spend time under supervision.(ABC News: Lincoln Rothall)

“We would obviously like to see him under supervision before his head sentence expires for a sufficient period of time.

“It would certainly be of benefit not only to him, but to the community to have the longest period under supervision that’s possible — but that’s not something we can control, obviously.”

World ‘very different’ to when Haydon jailed

SA Law Society Criminal Law Committee member and barrister James Marcus said parole for Haydon is an important part of the sentencing process.

“It is in fact very much in the community interest that people do apply for, and be granted, parole and spend that period of time in the community, particularly those that have served long sentences so they can readjust to life outside of custody,” he said.

“He has spent 25 years in custody.

“The world that he was jailed from is very different to the world that he will now have to live in.”

James Marcus says it is “very much in the community interest” for parolees to spend time out of custody.(ABC News: Stephen Opie)

But Haydon does face ongoing supervision in the community once his sentence is complete, if an application to have him placed on an extended supervision order is successful.

The SA government changed high-risk offender legislation in February after discovering a legal loophole that may have excluded Haydon from being supervised when he was released from prison.

Under extended supervision orders, offenders can be placed under similar restrictions to parole.

Those restrictions can include ongoing monitoring through electronic bracelets, as well as limits on when offenders can leave home and where they can go.

The Snowtown old bank building where bodies were found in barrels in 1999.(ABC News: Che Chorley)

Ms Nelson said giving prisoners parole is better than having them placed on extended supervision orders.

“They’re not the same sanctions under an extended supervision order,” Ms Nelson said.

“If someone breaches their parole, the parole board can return them to custody and cancel their parole and that is a very effective sanction — there isn’t that power under extended supervision orders.

“I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of continuing detention orders made by the court in the past five years, even though we’ve recommended multiple times for continuing detention orders.”

The Attorney-General’s application for an extended supervision order will return to court later this month.

“The state government has applied to the Supreme Court to have Mr Haydon made subject to an extended supervision order,” a spokesperson said.

“[It] would see parole-like conditions continue even after his sentence has expired.”