Transforming Parole in Scotland: consultation report
Analysis report for the Transforming Parole in Scotland consultation and resulting actions
The Scottish Government has undertaken a full analysis of the 'Transforming Parole in Scotland' public consultation. The consultation sought views on improvements to the parole process in Scotland.
The Parole Board for Scotland (Parole Board) is a tribunal non-departmental public body that makes recommendations on the release of prisoners back into the community on licence. The Parole Board makes these decisions based on a rigorous risk assessment process. In making these decisions the Parole Board have to be satisfied that the prisoner no longer poses a risk to the public. Public protection is the Parole Board's primary concern. It is not the responsibility of the Parole Board to consider the questions of punishment and general deterrence. The issues of punishment and deterrence are matters for the court.
The consultation focused on five main areas:
• How to strengthen the voice of victims in the parole process so that they can more directly inform the Parole Board's considerations and whether victims should have a right to have the reasons for parole decisions explained to them, so they can understand why the decision was reached.
• How to make improvements to better support the Parole Board's decision-making and the transparency of those decisions including, improving how the Parole Board's decisions are communicated to victims and the wider public.
• How to assist prisoners so they are prepared for parole hearings and understand the conditions of their parole (if granted) and what that will mean on release.
• How improvements could be made to the supervision and recall of individuals, specifically looking at licence conditions that could improve the safety and security of victims, reviewing compliance with licence conditions and by speeding up processes for recall where a person has breached their licence.
• How to strengthen the independence, governance and accountability arrangements of the Parole Board. The consultation sought views on whether this could be supported by transferring the Parole Board to the Scottish Tribunals (as created by the Tribunals (Scotland) Act 2014) to further augment and underline the independence of the Parole Board.
This report provides a summary and analysis of the consultation with the views of respondents and the intentions of the Scottish Government outlined after each section.