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Publication - Consultation Responses

Parole reform in Scotland: analysis of consultation responses

Published: 12 Feb 2018
Part of:
Law and order, Research
ISBN:
9781788515702

Collated and analysed responses to the public consultation on parole reform in support of the Vision for Justice in Scotland.

37 page PDF

709.1kB

37 page PDF

709.1kB

Contents
Parole reform in Scotland: analysis of consultation responses
7. Way in Which Information is Supplied to the Parole Board

37 page PDF

709.1kB

7. Way in Which Information is Supplied to the Parole Board

Overview

7.1 Currently where the Parole Board is to consider revocation of a licence, following a reported breach of licence conditions, the breach report is submitted by the supervising officer (social worker) to the Scottish Ministers, who then refer this on to the Parole Board.

7.2 It is important that potential breaches of licence conditions by prisoners who are serving the end of their sentence in the community are considered quickly as there may be a risk to public safety. The process could be streamlined, and therefore risk to public safety reduced, by allowing local authority social workers to report licence breaches directly to the Parole Board for consideration and for suitably qualified professionals such as, officers from Police Scotland and NHS medical staff, to also provide any additional papers requested directly to the Parole Board.

7.3 The proposal is that, for cases where revocation of a licence or re-release of a prisoner is being considered by the Parole Board, local authority social workers may report licence breaches directly to the Parole Board for consideration, and that suitably qualified professionals such as local authority social workers, officers from Police Scotland and NHS medical staff, may also directly provide any additional papers requested to the Parole Board.

Referring Bodies

Q13. "Do you agree that, for cases where revocation of a licence or re-release of a prisoner is being considered by the Parole Board, local authority social workers should be able to report licence breaches directly to the Parole Board for consideration and for suitably qualified professionals such as local authority social workers, officers from Police Scotland and NHS medical staff may also directly provide any additional papers requested to the Parole Board?"

7.4 Eighteen of the 23 respondents answered the initial question, Responses were as follows:

R = Total Responses
Y = Yes
N = No
Overall Responses Public Sector LA Individual 3 rd sector legal Judiciary
R Y N R Y N R Y N R Y N R Y N R Y N R Y N
(Q13) Ability for bodies to send reports for revocation and re-release directly to the Parole Board 18 16 2 5 5 0 6 6 0 3 2 1 3 2 1 1 1 0 0 0 0

Key themes from respondents in relation to their follow-up comments were:

For those who answered Yes:

  • this would remove any perceived interference by the Scottish Ministers and reinforce the independence of the Parole Board and retain public confidence.
  • would assist in reducing timescale of information getting to the Parole Board especially in cases where recall is being recommended by the report writer.
  • improve and provide better multi-organisational communication.
  • role of the Scottish Ministers is currently confusing to some of the report writers and appears to them to add an unnecessary administrative layer.
  • organisations involved in providing reports in these circumstances would welcome further discussion to take this forward and understand expectations which may be placed on them in terms of resourcing.
  • clarity on process would be beneficial.

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