About the Parole Board
Who we are
The Parole Board is an independent body that carries out risk assessments on prisoners to determine whether they can be safely released into the community. It was established in 1968 under the Criminal Justice Act 1967 and became an independent executive non-departmental public body on 1 July 1996 under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994.
We have 246 Parole Board members who make the assessments and decisions. We employ around 120 members of staff to support them, based in 10 South Colonnade, London.
Our job is to determine if someone is safe to release. We do that with
great care, and public safety is our number one priority. We deal with 25,000 cases a year, which are referred to us by the Ministry of Justice once prisoners have served the punishment determined by the courts.
Parole Board decisions are solely focused on whether a prisoner would
represent a significant risk to the public after release. The risk assessment is based on detailed evidence found in the dossier (a collection of documents relating to the prisoner) and evidence provided at the oral hearing.
Number of cases concluded at oral hearing in 2018-19: 5380
- 38% of these were refused
- 49% were released
- 13% were recommended for moves to open prison.
The percentage of offenders who committed serious further offences in 2018/19 following a release decision or move to open conditions was 1.1%
Our primary role is to determine whether prisoners serving indeterminate sentences, and those serving certain determinate sentences for serious offences, continue to represent a significant risk to the public.
The main cases we oversee are for prisoners serving:
We also consider:
- the re-release of prisoners who are recalled to prison for breach of their licence conditions under the Criminal Justice Act 2003.