Prisoners' Release: Coronavirus

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 5th June 2020.

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Photo of Lord Bradley Lord Bradley Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact on the number of releases from prison over the next 12 months of the Parole Board’s decision to postpone face-to-face hearings due to COVID-19.

Photo of Lord Keen of Elie Lord Keen of Elie The Advocate-General for Scotland, Lords Spokesperson (Ministry of Justice)

The Parole Board take a detailed and sophisticated approach to assessing whether the statutory release test, set by Parliament, is met to ensure the protection of the public. In the temporary absence of face-to-face hearings, the Board has introduced measures to ensure as many parole hearings continue through the use of an intensive paper review process and by telephone and video technology to determine whether it is safe for the protection of the public for an offender to be released. Through these measures, the Board reports it is successfully managing to progress and make decisions without compromising the quality or integrity of the risk assessment process. If that is sustained, the Board does not envisage any significant impact on the number of release decisions it makes.

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