The Criminal Justice Act of 1967 established the Parole Board for England and Wales in 1968. Following the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act of 1994, it was designated an independent executive Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB) on July 1, 1996. Under the Criminal Justice Act of 2003, the 2016 Parole Board Rules govern the Parole Board. The Secretary of State chooses Parole Board for Justice members; however, they must make decisions without federal involvement.
The Primary Role of the Parole Board
The Parole Board for England and Wales plays a vital role in the criminal justice system. It is responsible for decisions regarding prisoner release. At its core, the Parole Board aims to strike a balance between prisoner rehabilitation and public safety. Its primary objective is to make informed decisions regarding the release of prisoners, ensuring that they are eligible and suitable for parole. By carefully assessing various factors, the Parole Board holds the responsibility of safeguarding the interests of both prisoners and the wider community.
The Parole Board’s primary responsibility is to evaluate the risks associated with prisoners. They provide a legally binding directive to the government about whether or not prisoners should be released on parole into the community. The Board also advises the government. They mostly advise whether they can transfer the offenders from the closed prison estate to open prisons. Therefore, considering the type of sentence imposed, the Board must act appropriately.
Parole Board and Indeterminate Sentences
These include those serving life sentences that are either automatic, discretionary, or mandatory. Indeterminate sentences are given for serious offenses and involve a minimum and maximum term of imprisonment. The Parole Board plays a crucial role in determining when an individual should be released, considering factors such as:
- The nature of the offense
- The prisoner’s behavior and progress while incarcerated
- The potential risk to public safety
Through parole hearings and reviews, the board assesses whether the prisoner has demonstrated sufficient rehabilitation and poses a manageable risk to society. It is done so in the following ways:
- After a prisoner completes their tariff, the Board evaluates whether it is safe to release them into the community
- Whether the Secretary of State is right to send them back to jail if they violate their life licence.
Parole Board and Determinate Sentences
Unlike indeterminate sentences, determinate sentences have a fixed length. However, the Parole Board still plays a significant role in the parole process for these cases. Eligibility criteria and considerations may vary, but the board assesses factors such as the prisoner’s conduct in prison, engagement in rehabilitative programs, and potential risk to public safety.
The board’s decision to grant or deny parole can profoundly impact the prisoner’s transition back into society. These include those assigned a discretionary conditional release (DCR). It further includes serving more than four years for an offence committed before April 4, 2005, as well as:
- Extended prison terms (EPT) for offences committed on or after April 4, 2005
- Inmates with ordinary determinate sentences who have been called back to jail following a licence release.
The Board evaluates whether these inmates are safe to be released into the community. However, the board releases them after completing the minimum custody time. They are also responsible for evaluating whether the Secretary of State has a legal basis to recall them to custody for violating the terms of their parole licence (the rules they must observe upon release).
Here’s How We Can Help
Forensic psychologists are responsible for providing research-based data. Therefore, they help create better prison system policies and operational procedures. You can find out if a forensic assessment is valuable for your parole case. Just have an informal chat with us!
At Concise Medico, we have a panel of the most-efficient forensic psychologists. If you have been victimised and are struggling with a case, you don’t have to worry anymore! Consult our forensic psychologist expert panel and instruct them regarding your case. With a proven success record, we’re confident you will access justice!