Prisoners: Rehabilitation

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 17th December 2015.

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Photo of Lord Hylton Lord Hylton Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of how many prisoners are prevented from progressing towards release because they are unable or unwilling to take specified training courses that the Parole Board insists are the only acceptable evidence of reduced risk on release.

Photo of Lord Hylton Lord Hylton Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will require the Parole Board to take into account all the available evidence that individual prisoners serving long sentences have changed their attitudes and lifestyles while in prison.

Photo of Lord Faulks Lord Faulks The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

It is not mandatory for a prisoner to complete specific courses or programmes before he can be considered for release by the Parole Board. The Parole Board is required to assess the prisoner’s overall risk of serious harm to the public and, in doing so, will consider a range of factors, including, where available, the prisoner’s response to specific offending behaviour programmes (OBPs).

The Parole Board already takes into account other indicators of reduced risk, including where the prisoner has engaged effectively with professional staff on a one to one basis or undertaken education, work and training. In addition, the Parole Board will consider the prisoner’s behaviour in custody, together with evidence drawn from the prisoner’s attitudes - for example, how well the prisoner handles stressful situations.

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