Prisoners who are given a life sentence in Ireland must now serve a minimum of twelve years in prison before being considered for parole.
Previously, prisoners only had to serve seven years before being considered.
Minister Heather Humphreys confirmed the establishment of a new parole board and the commencement of the Parole Act.
The Department of justice claims the purpose of the Act is to place the parole process on a statutory position and establish an independent board to decide on parole applications.
Ten people have been appointed to the board, with Justice Michael White being the chairperson of the board.
Parole will only be granted to prisoners if the parole board is satisfied that the prisoner does not pose an undue risk to the public.
The prisoner applying for parole must be rehabilitated and it must be appropriate in all circumstances to release the prisoner.