Thursday, 11 July 2019
Parole Bill 2016: Committee and Remaining Stages
I understand the underlying rationale of and good intention behind the amendment. Nevertheless, I will point out a few aspects and we might have a discussion about it thereafter. The section deals with the refusal of parole. A decision to refuse must be in writing and include reasons and a date not more than two years later than when he or she will become eligible to be reconsidered for parole. When parole is refused, the board can make recommendations to the Prison Service in respect of sentence management that will help the prisoner prepare for his or her next application. This is done by the current non-statutory board. The board might recommend, for example, measures that could further the prisoner's rehabilitation, such as the prisoner undergoing a treatment programme in prison, being granted short periods of release, or spending time in an open prison to help him or her to acclimatise generally and gradually to new freedoms and see how he or she copes. In the Bill as drafted, the board will retain this function, which will not change, and the recommendations are not binding on the Prison Service.
The amendment seeks to delete section 30(3)(b) and make the recommendations binding-----