To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the answer of 18 June 2012, Official Report, column 681W, on sentencing, what other indicators the Parole Board considers in ascertaining whether a prisoner's risks have been reduced; and what instructions are given to the Parole Board regarding such indicators when they are used in lieu of offending behaviour programmes.
The Parole Board is an independent body which has the power to direct release of indeterminate sentence prisoners if it is satisfied that their detention is no longer necessary for the protection of the public.
EWCA Civ 1779 has ruled that these Directions can be regarded only as guidance in respect of cases where the Parole Board has the power to direct release. The Directions set out all the factors the Secretary of State consider the Parole Board should take into account when considering whether to direct release. These Directions were intended to apply to all cases, including those where the prisoner may not have completed offending behaviour programmes (OBPs). Copies of the Directions have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
As explained in my answer of