It is my understanding that a person who has been released from prison under licence conditions determined by the Parole Board can have the supervision element of these licence conditions terminated or changed following a request from the person's supervising officer. This information is contained in the latest Parole Board of Scotland Annual Report at page 11.
You asked for the following information, relevant to persons with a life licence including the Order of Lifelong Restriction (OLR).
- Information on how a supervising officer can make such a request and to whom such a request be directed.
- The mechanism and considerations by which the Scottish Ministers scrutinise and judge such a request.
- How the Scottish Ministers convey this decision to the Parole Board and the person's supervising officer.
Firstly, I should explain the difference between a life licence and an Order for Lifelong Restriction (OLR).
A person on a life licence must be supervised for at least 10 years before a request can be made to terminate the supervision element of the licence. See extract from page 40 of the National Outcomes and Standards for Social Work Services in the Criminal Justice System:
Achievement of outcomes should be acknowledged. In some cases, it may be appropriate to make an the application to the court/CJPD (Criminal Justice and Parole Division)/Parole Board for consideration of the early termination of the supervision element of the sentence where the individual is assessed as low risk of re-offending and harm; in the case of those on life sentences, this cannot take place until the individual has demonstrated full compliance for a period of 10 years.
A person who has an OLR is different – see extract from the Risk Management Authority website:
“The OLR is a true lifelong sentence, meaning that all individuals sentenced to an OLR will be the subject of a Risk Management Plan (RMP) for the rest of their life.”
Therefore, unlike other forms of life sentence, the supervision requirement cannot be terminated, so the individual would be subject to this for the rest of their life with the requirement that there is a Risk Management Plan.
In response to your three specific questions.
1. Information on how a supervising officer can make such a request and to whom such a request be directed.
Any requests to terminate the supervision element of a life sentence should be sent by the relevant supervising officer to the Scottish Government, Community Licence Team, Community Justice Division. Requests are emailed to the Community Licence Team mailbox at: email@example.com
2. The mechanism and considerations by which the Scottish Ministers scrutinise and judge such a request.
The Scottish Ministers have no role in scrutinising or judging the request to terminate supervision. The Scottish Ministers role is to refer the dossier of information and licence termination request to the Parole Board for Scotland to assist the Board in reaching its decision.
3. How the Scottish Ministers convey this decision to the Parole Board and the person's supervising officer.
This is not applicable as the Scottish Ministers do not make a decision. On receipt of a request to terminate the supervision element of a life sentence, the Scottish Ministers will refer the request to the Parole Board for Scotland for their recommendation. The recommendation is binding on the Scottish Ministers.
The decision of the Parole Board will be conveyed to the supervising officer in writing (normally a letter sent by email), by the Scottish Government, Community Licence Team.
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
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