1. Check if you can apply

You might be able to get parole as a young offender if you’re:

  • a young adult (18 to 21)
  • a juvenile (under 18)

Parole means you can leave prison or be released from custody before the end of your sentence, but you’ll be kept under supervision.

You may have to apply for parole yourself or the government may apply for you depending on what kind of sentence you’re serving.

You’ll need a solicitor to help you get parole. Ask a member of the prison staff for help getting one if you don’t already have a solicitor. You might be able to get legal aid to help pay for this.

The rules are different in Scotland, Northern Ireland and for adults.

When you can apply

You can apply for parole if you’re serving a fixed-term sentence (where you’re in custody for at least 4 years) and you’re not eligible for being released automatically halfway through your sentence.

You’ll be able to apply 6 months before your ‘tariff’ runs out, which is usually halfway through your sentence. Your tariff is the minimum length of time you were ordered to stay in prison.

When the government will apply for you

The government will apply for parole for you if you’re serving a life sentence. You’ll have to serve your tariff before you can be considered for parole.

You’ll be contacted:

  • 3 years before your tariff runs out if you’re serving a sentence of 4 years or more
  • at least 6 months before your tariff runs out if you’re serving a shorter sentence