Prisoners' Release: Education:Written question - 262419

(Leeds East)
Asked on: 10 June 2019
Ministry of Justice
Prisoners' Release: Education
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of the availability of courses for prisoners to demonstrate safety for release.
Answered by: Robert Buckland
Answered on: 13 June 2019

A wide range of accredited programmes are available for prisoners to attend where they are identified as suitable. Referrals for courses and volumes delivered are kept under review and suitability for any accredited programmes will be considered as part of a prisoner’s wider sentence plan. We always try to ensure that courses are available to prisoners at a suitable time in their sentence. In particular, we prioritise indeterminate sentence prisoners for courses to ensure that Parole Board recommendations can be implemented as soon as practicable. However, the completion of accredited programmes is not a mandatory requirement to secure release.

It is for the independent Parole Board to review the detention of parole eligible prisoners. The Board will direct the release of these prisoners only if it is satisfied that the levels of risk posed to the general public are reduced enough that the National Probation Service and its partner agencies can safely manage them in the community under supervision. Prisoners are managed using a sentence plan which contains interventions that have been identified to help them to address the risks that they pose. Management of the sentence plan is a matter for HMPPS and not the Parole Board. The Parole Board will consider how interventions identified by HMPPS, and undertaken by prisoners, have impacted on the levels of risk posed by individuals.

Information relating to Parole Board recommendations is not held centrally and could not be obtained without incurring disproportionate costs.

While HMPPS is focused on giving all prisoners opportunities to progress towards release, public protection must remain our priority.

Grouped Questions: 262421

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