Parole Board guidance
The work of the Parole Board is guided by a number of different directions, rules and stated policies. Some of these, such as the Secretary of State's Directions or the Parole Board Rules, have been issued by Ministers others, such as the practice guidance for oral hearings have been agreed by the Parole Board Management Board.
The Parole Board strives to be as open and as transparent as possible but must do so within the requirements of the law, which require the Board to observe legal restraints on the disclosure of confidential and/or personal information. By promoting better understanding of our processes and the principles underlying our decision making, the Board aims to build greater confidence in the quality of those decisions amongst the public, prisoners and our partner organisations. We are committed to publishing as much information as possible about our policy and practice in the Freedom of Information section of this website.
Guidance on LASPO (PDF)
Following the cases of King and Sturnham the Parole Board has revised its guidance to members in relation to the LASPO 2012 Act. The changes relate primarily to the test for release of determinate sentenced prisoners, which has now been aligned with that of indeterminate sentence prisoners.
Oral hearings guide (PDF)
This set of guidance is issued to Parole Board members to assist them when they are conducting oral hearings considering parole applications from prisoners. It includes pre-hearing, procedural and equality issues and also discusses roles at the hearing and the decision itself. This guidance was updated in March 2012.
Secretary of State's Directions
On 11 July 2013 the Secretary of State announced in a written ministerial statement that he was withdrawing his Directions to the Parole Board where they apply to its decisions on early release. These Directions were made by the Secretary of State under statutory powers and relate to matters that the Board should take into account when considering cases referred to it.
The Parole Board has decided to issue Guidance to its own members to take the place of the Directions.
The Secretary of State’s Directions on the transfer of indeterminate prisoners to open conditions will shortly be re-issued and will remain in force.
Parole Board Rules
In arranging the timetable and procedures for oral hearings the Parole Board follows the Parole Board Rules made by the Secretary of State, in exercise of the powers conferred on him by section 32(5) of the Criminal Justice Act 1991.
Practice guidance for oral hearings
The Parole Board is currently reviewing its guidance on oral hearings following the Supreme Court judgment in the cases of "Osborn, Booth and Reilly" handed down on 9 October 2013. Updated information will follow in the near future.
Oral hearing listing prioritisation framework
In November 2009 the Parole Board revised the oral hearing listing prioritisation framework, which it first introduced in April 2009 to reduce delays in oral hearings by prioritising older cases which were unable to be heard when originally scheduled.
Juvenile oral hearings
In November 2010 the Parole Board agreed an extension to the existing policy of having oral hearings for all juveniles serving extended sentences for public protection who apply for parole while under the age of 18.
Intensive case management
In January 2008 the Parole Board launched a system of intensive case management to support Parole Board members in their deliberations, especially in the cases of those sexual of violent offenders that pose particular difficulties for risk assessment.
Freedom of Information
The Parole Board is committed to publishing as much information as possible about policy and practice under Freedom of Information guidelines.