The Parole Board

The Parole Board is made up of experienced professionals, such as:

  • Retired or serving Judges
  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychologists
  • Retired senior police officers
  • Those with expertise in social work.

A range of information, prepared by professionals is provided to the Parole Board each time they consider a prisoner’s case. This information includes information about:

  • The crime
  • The prisoner’s behaviour in prison
  • Their medical condition
  • Psychological condition or
  • Psychiatric condition, and
  • Information from prison social workers
  • Information from the local authority about the prisoner’s plans should they be released.

The Parole Board considers any information it receives, including written comments made by the victim about the release of the offender (under the Victim Notification Scheme) and focuses on the potential risk the prisoner poses to the community. In most cases the prisoner is provided with a copy of all the information that is sent to the Board. More information on the Victim Notification Scheme, can be found here.

Contacting the Parole Board
Even if you do not join, or are not eligible to join the Victim Notification Scheme, you can write to the Parole Board to let them know what you think of the release of a particular prisoner. Your views will be included in the information which the Parole Board considers. Make sure that you include the prisoner’s name in your letter. Please bear in mind that the law says that a prisoner generally must see all the information given to the Parole Board, so the prisoner will see what you write.

Whilst the actions of an offender may have been highly distressing and upsetting, or even devastating for a victim or their families you should be aware that the Parole Board is required by law to only consider factors relating to the risk that an offender may present, if released.