The Parole Board has issued updated guidance to its members on handling deferrals of parole reviews.
The considerable delays and the size of the backlog are matters of great concern to members and staff at the Parole Board. The Board is very conscious of the anxiety that these delays can cause to all concerned and is working hard to find ways to hear as many cases as possible.
The work to increase oral hearing capacity by 45% over the last year and the introduction of the new Member Case Assessment (MCA) model have been significant achievements and are already helping to tackle the backlog. However, despite this progress, deferrals continue to undermine the Board’s ability to provide fair and timely reviews for all prisoners.
Following a detailed review of deferrals it was felt that there was a need for clearer direction as to the Board’s overall approach and therefore guidance has been provided to Parole Board members. This guidance has been incorporated into the MCA manual.