Publication - Consultation responses

Parole reform in Scotland: analysis of consultation responses

Published: 12 Feb 2018
Directorate:
Justice Directorate
Part of:
Law and order, Research
ISBN:
9781788515702

Collated and analysed responses to the public consultation on parole reform in support of the Vision for Justice in Scotland.

37 page PDF

709.1 kB

37 page PDF

709.1 kB

Contents
Parole reform in Scotland: analysis of consultation responses
6. Timescales for Subsequent Reviews Following Initial Consideration for Parole

37 page PDF

709.1 kB

6. Timescales for Subsequent Reviews Following Initial Consideration for Parole

Overview

6.1 Currently life and OLR prisoners, who are refused release on parole licence at first consideration, are subsequently considered for release on parole licence no later than every two years. Recalled prisoners serving extended sentences are entitled to require the Scottish Ministers to refer their case for consideration by the Parole Board, initially at any time upon the revocations, and thereafter annually during the currency of the recall. In practice, such prisoners are considered annually. There are no specific parole review periods set out for other relevant categories of prisoners. In practice these prisoner's cases are currently reviewed on an annual basis.

6.2 It is thought that it may be helpful to specify clear timescales for further reviews following initial consideration. Given the length of sentences involved, the current two year review timescale for life and OLR prisoners may be appropriate. For all other types of prisoner a one year timescale may be appropriate.

Review Periods

Q12. "Do you agree that the current provisions whereby Life and OLR prisoners, following initial consideration, are considered for release on parole licence every two years are appropriate?"

6.3 Eighteen of the 23 respondents answered the initial question. Responses were as follows:

R = Total Responses
Y = Yes
N = No
Overall Responses Public Sector LA Individual 3 rd sector legal Judiciary
R Y N R Y N R Y N R Y N R Y N R Y N R Y N
(Q12) Review periods for Life and OLR prisoners 18 16 2 5 4 1 6 5 1 2 2 0 4 4 0 1 1 0 0 0 0

Key themes from respondents in relation to their follow-up comments were:

For those who answered Yes:

  • the review period should be up to/within two years to enable an earlier review/greater flexibility to be given, if appropriate.
  • clear timescales would be beneficial to all involved in the parole process.
  • in certain cases it was recognised that two years may not be sufficient for a prisoner to complete relevant courses dependant on availability, participation etc.

For those who answered No:

  • lesser review period perhaps 18 months would enable appropriate interventions.

6.4 A further follow-up question was asked "Do you agree that all prisoners, apart from life and OLR prisoners, should be considered annually for parole following a first decision not to release on parole licence?" Nineteen of the 23 respondents answered this follow-up question. Sixteen answered Yes and three answered No.

Key themes from respondents in relation to their follow-up comments were:

For those who answered Yes:

  • this may assist those being considered for parole to engage more positively in the process as the annual review could be an incentive.
  • the review period should be up to/within a year to enable an earlier review/greater flexibility to be given, if appropriate.

For those who answered No:

  • they also felt that the review period should be up to/within a year to enable an earlier review/greater flexibility to be given, if appropriate.
  • annual review may not be sufficient to enable appropriate interventions.
  • annual review may be too ambitious for certain categories of prisoners such as sex offenders.

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