HC Deb 28 March 1968 vol 761 cc1694-6
2. Mr. Brooks

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will publish in the OFFICIAL REPORT the number of prisoners in each of Her Majesty's Prisons who have applied for and been successful in obtaining release on parole under the provisions of the Criminal Justice Act, 1967.

55. Mr. Oakes

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners were eligible for consideration for parole before 1st April; how many he referred to the Parole Board; what their recommendations were; and how many prisoners are being released.

Mr. Callaghan

As the Answer contains a number of figures, I will with permission arrange for it to be circulated in the OFFICIAL REPORT, with the exception of figures for individual prisons which I shall supply later. Up to date 350 prisoners in England and Wales have been recommended for release by the Parole Board, and a further 16 cases are under consideration.

Mr. Brooks

I thank my right hon. Friend for that reply. In view of reports of widespread despair among prisoners about the number of them granted release on licence, would he confirm that the numbers that he has announced correspond broadly to those anticipated by the Criminal Justice Act? Further, can he confirm that prisoners so far unsuccessful are not excluded from consideration at future reviews.

Mr. Callaghan

I have looked at the debates on the Criminal Justice Bill, and I do not think that any firm estimate was given, although some figures were used as illustrations. I can confirm that of those who have not been recommended for parole this time, as my hon. Friend will see when he reads the information which is to appear in HANSARD, a number will be considered for a further review before expiration of the normal interval of one year.

Mr. Sharples

Can the right hon. Gentleman say what proportion of those prisoners who are being released on parole are in the final three months of their prison sentences?

Mr. Callaghan

No, I am afraid that I cannot.

Following is the information:

1. Prisoners eligible for consideration 4,764
(a) declined consideration 417
(b) considered by local review committees 4,347

2. Considered by local review committees 4,347
(a) reported to Home Office as unsuitable for parole 3,315
(b) reported to Home Office as suitable for parole 1,032
3. Considered by Home Office 4,347
(a) referred to Parole Board 509*
(b) still under consideration 13
4. Considered by Parole Board 509
(a) recommended for parole 350
(b) not recommended for parole 143†
(c) still under consideration 16
5. Acceptance by Home Office of Parole Board recommendations
(a) accepted 350‡
(b) not accepted nil
* Includes 52 recommended by local review committees not suitable.
† Includes 79 recommended by the Parole Board, and accepted by the Home Office, for a further review before the expiration of the normal interval of one year.
‡ Includes 22 whose authorised release date is, on the recommendation of the Board, later than 1st April, 1968; and two whose cases require further consideration in the light of developments since the decision was taken.