The Parole Board is delighted to announce the launch of two important information leaflets for both prisoners and their families. These publications are designed to increase understanding and provide clarity about the Parole process.
The first booklet, entitled Information for family and friends of prisoners having a parole review, aims to provide a useful go-to document for anyone wishing to support someone in prison going through parole.
We published the information booklet for families and friends about supporting someone going through parole. It sets out who is involved in parole reviews, how to find a solicitor, how a family or friend might attend a parole oral hearing and also provides sign-posts to information and services that may offer other support and advice, for example helplines, information about licences and further reading about the parole process.
There is strong evidence that support of family and friends in the community can often be key to successful reintegration and reduced reoffending, The Board has a responsibility to highlight the important role of family and friends despite the current challenges. We published the information booklet for families and friends about supporting someone going through parole. The booklet comes off the back of research undertaken by experts at Southampton and Leeds Universities on the impact of the IPP sentence on families.
The impact of family contact to prisoners has never been more prevalent amid the ongoing global pandemic. Family visits in prisons have not been possible since March, with restrictions on travel brought in, social distancing measures, and prisons having to change regimes to ensure the safety of everyone on site. Although, not a direct response to Covid-19, this leaflet will help families support prisoners through the current climate and into the future as the country eventually returns to normal.
The second leaflet provides guidance and support for prisoners who opt to represent themselves during the parole process rather than seeking a lawyer. The Board always strongly recommends that prisoners should seek a professional legal representation to advise and represent them in their parole hearing.
However, there are a significant number of prisoners being unrepresented. This new guide gives valuable advice on preparing for a parole review. Whilst it is aimed at prisoners, it may also prove helpful to anyone supporting a prisoner. Both documents are attached below.
This guidance is part of a programme of work to increase understanding of the parole process. This material is provided for prisoners and their families. The Board already provides detailed advice and guidance for victims explaining the parole process and victim entitlements and information for the public.