§ Sir John Wheeler
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance has been given for the Parole Board to take into account when considering the release, transfer to open conditions and recall of mandatory life sentence prisoners.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
For reviews of mandatory life sentence prisoners which begin at the prison from 1 April, the parole board will be giving reasons for recommendations and Ministers will be giving reasons for their decisions. It is important, therefore, that the board and prisoners have a clear understanding of the criteria against which recommendations and decisions are made. I have, therefore, written to the chairman of the parole board giving him directions under section 32(6) of the Criminal Justice Act 1991 setting out the matters which the parole board should take into account when discharging its functions. I have also provided the board with guidance for the training of its members. Copies of the letter, the directions and training guidance have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.