The Management Committee open Board meeting was well attended by a range of external stakeholders, staff and members. Those attending heard about the latest performance headlines from the Board in the latest period:
The backlog of cases has fallen by over a third to 2,093 cases outstanding. The Board is on track to have eradicated the backlog during 2017.
The Board’s release rate was up slightly at 40% in the last 12 months.
Up to 104 new PB members have been appointed.
56% of members are now using tablet devices as we move towards working paperless.
Our new strategy has been finalised and our focus now is on implementation.
The meeting was followed by an opportunity to ask questions.
In answer to questions on maintaining the independence of the Board. Nick Hardwick (Chair) underlined the importance of maintaining our independence and our court like status.
In answer to questions relating to the new rule which means IPPs can be released on the papers, Martin Jones (CEO) suggested that the power was most likely to be used in cases where IPPs had been recalled to custody (where our average release rate is generally much higher).
In answer to questions on the importance of good case management/direction compliance; Sir John Saunders (Judicial Vice Cchair) and Miranda Biddle (Director of Operations) talked about the importance of treating directions seriously and escalating problems with direction compliance. The recently created enhanced case managers at the Parole Board were already starting to improve outcomes by working with other parties to ensure cases were ready.
The Management Committee plan to hold further open meetings next year.
Feedback following the meeting:
“A very welcome transparency exercise. Very useful to hear the Board’s discussions on this wide range of topics on the agenda.”
“Impressed by the level of accountability and challenge demonstrated at the meeting. Encouraged by the collegiate approach of the management committee and Parole Board’s commitment to making the parole system work.”
“Very informative. Nice to be given an insight into what happens at these meetings. Good to hear the issues we notice are being addressed by the board.”