Parole, generally, is the process by which prisoners who haven’t reached the end of their sentences are released early and allowed to serve the rest of the sentence in the community – as long as they keep to certain licence conditions, such as good behaviour.
If someone is regarded to have broken these licence conditions, or have committed further offenses, they will be liable to serve the rest of their sentence in prison. The decision logic is based on whether the person needs to be detained to protect the public. IPP (Imprisonment for Public Protection) prisoners and Lifers can also be recalled after release in a similar way to other prisoners.
What help is available?
Despite Government cuts with help for prisoners, prisoners are still able to apply for Legal Aid, so that they can be represented in their parole hearing. Lawtons has particular expertise and a high success rate in getting prisoners back into the community on licence.
There is also parole for lifers and IPP prisoners who have reached the end of their sentence tariff. The tariff is the minimum term that they have been sentenced to serve, before their release on licence being considered by a Parole Board. Lawtons also have a very high success rate when representing Lifer/IPP clients, obtaining their release into the community or the initial phase of access to an open prison.
Many prisoners do not realise, and are not told by prison staff, that they can apply for Legal Aid. So many prisoners are recalled to prison without knowing that they could have assistance and advice when they are recalled.
What are the potential outcomes?
In many cases, Lawtons can secure re-releases by pressing for reviews of your detention that would not have otherwise taken place. Without the protection of a lawyer, some prisoners have even reported not having vital paperwork passed onto them to inform them of their detention reviews – so they could not even comment on the accuracy of information the Parole Board or Secretary of State are discussing. It is vital that you consult a lawyer with expertise in prison law and parole as soon as possible, even if the parole procedure has already begun.
But it is important to note, there are some forms of discretionary releases when a prison will allow an inmate to be released early that does not necessarily involve reviews by the Parole Board – such as release on tag (HDC) and ROTLS (releases on temporary licence from prison) for certain purposes. If these early releases are withdrawn, legal aid is not typically available for challenging these decisions. If in doubt, get in touch and we can assess your situation to find the best way to proceed.
Nb. This guide is intended to give general information only and not intended to be used as the basis upon which Advice is given nor should it be relied upon as giving advice specific to a case or individual and Lawtons do not accept liability for anyone using this guide. Should you require specific advice in connection with a real case or situation, please contact us immediately so that we can provide specific Advice