Parole Board - About us
99-105 Horseferry Road,
DX:155620, Victoria 17
0300 047 4600
0300 047 4716
Parole Board publishes new Litigation Strategy
This is the first time the Parole Board has published a document setting out its strategy for dealing with litigation. It sets out changes in the way we will be dealing with judicial reviews, and clarifies how we deal with litigation as a whole.
The only change from current practice is a significant one. Most applications for judicial review of a Parole Board decision not to direct release; or not to recommend open conditions, will not be defended. The Board will operate like many other judicial bodies and take no active part other than to assist the court with factual information where appropriate. The Board will approach the pre-action protocols in a similar way.
The Parole Board will continue to defend applications for judicial review where it believes it is appropriate. We envisage that most of those cases we do defend will relate to issues of procedure or judicial acts made during the course of a review such as case management directions, refusals to grant oral hearings etc.
Read a copy of the Litigation Strategy (DOC 0.11mb)
Chief Executive, the Parole Board
Parole Board launches survey of offenders
The Parole Board already carries out an annual survey, asking people we work with what they think about the work that we do and the way that we do it. However, as these surveys are carried out online they do not include prisoners who do not have access to the internet. This leaves a big gap in our understanding of how offenders experience the parole process and how well they are able to engage with it to make sure that they get a timely and fair decision.
There are a wide range of issues which can affect an offender's ability to play an active part in their parole review. We can take account of some of these factors such as learning disabilities. However, there may be many other things which the Parole Board does not know about. We accept that it is very difficult for offenders to raise any concerns they have with the Board directly.
To fill this gap the Board is now carrying out a survey of offenders, including those who are in prison and have recently had a parole review, and those in the community who have been released on parole licence. The survey will ask about how you prepare for your hearing, your experience of the hearing itself, if you have attended one, and how the panel's decision was communicated to you.
The survey has been designed in an easy read format with the invaluable help of the Working for Justice Group and Keyring, who work with ex-offenders with learning difficulties, and is being distributed to all prison libraries with the very kind assistance of Inside Time newspaper. The survey should be completed and returned to the Parole Board at the FREEPOST address on the form. The survey will be open until the end of March 2013.
If you need help completing the survey please ask for help. We will not ask you to identify yourself on the form. Please do print out a copy of the survey and let us know what you think. We really do want to hear from you
Sir David Calvert-Smith
Chair, the Parole Board
Offender survey 2013 - easy read form (PDF 0.42mb)
- Press release: Parole Board publishes Business Plan 2012 update
- Press release: Parole Board appoints new chief executive officer
- Press release: Parole Board publishes annual report and accounts for 2011/12
What is the Parole Board?
The Parole Board is an independent body that works with its criminal justice partners to protect the public by risk assessing prisoners to decide whether they can be safely released into the community.
What are the aims of the Parole Board?
The Parole Board aims to:
- Make risk assessments which are rigorous, fair and timely with the primary aim of protecting the public and which contribute to the rehabilitation of prisoners where appropriate.
- Demonstrate effective and accountable corporate governance by maintaining strong internal control, setting clear objectives and managing corporate risk and to deliver best value by optimum use of resources.
- Promote the independence of and public confidence in the work of the Board, while effectively managing change.
What are the responsibilities of the Parole Board?
The Parole Board for England and Wales was established in 1968 under the Criminal Justice Act 1967. It became an independent Executive Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB) on 1 July 1996 under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994. The Parole Board's role is to make risk assessments about prisoners to decide who may safely be released into the community.
The Parole Board has responsibility for considering the following types of cases:
These include life sentence prisoners (mandatory life, discretionary life and automatic life sentence prisoners and Her Majesty's Pleasure detainees) and prisoners given indeterminate sentences for public protection (IPP). The Parole Board considers whether prisoners are safe to release into the community once they have completed their tariff (the minimum time they must spend in prison) and also whether they are safe to re-release following recall to prison for a breach of their life licence conditions (the rules which they must observe upon release).
These include discretionary conditional release (DCR) prisoners serving more than 4 years whose offence was committed before 4 April 2005 and prisoners given extended sentences for public protection (EPP) for offences committed on or after 4 April 2005. The Parole Board considers whether these prisoners are safe to release into the community once they have completed the minimum time they must spend in prison. The Board also considers any determinate sentence prisoner referred by the Secretary of State following recall to prison for a breach of their parole licence conditions (the rules which they must observe upon release) as to whether they are safe to re-release into the community.
What is a Non Departmental Public Body?
A Non Departmental Public Body (NDPB) is an independent public body which has a role in the process of national Government. It is not a government department or part of one. It operates at arm's length from Government. Appointments to the boards of these public bodies are known as public appointments.
What is the budget of the Parole Board?
The Parole Board's budget for 2010-11 was £10.98 million. The budget for 2011-12 is £10.5 million. The costs of the Board are largely driven by workload. Members' fees and travel and subsistence represent nearly 60% of the Board's budget and expenditure.