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Frequently Asked Questions

What is parole?

What is the Parole Board?

What category of offender can qualify for parole?
The Parole Board has a role in the following types of cases:

Short term determinate sentence offenders (those sentenced to less than 4 years) are released into the community unconditionally at the half way point in their sentence. The Parole Board has no role in these cases. Short term sex offenders are released on licence at the half way point and their licence conditions are set by the Scottish Government Justice Directorate. The Parole Board will only become involved if the offender breaches their licence and are recalled or are seeking re-release following recall.

Long Term determinate sentence offenders (those serving more than 4 years) are entitled by law to be considered for parole once they have served half of their sentence (this is known as the Parole Qualifying Date). If early release is not directed at the first review then the Board will reconsider the offender's case at 12 month intervals until the offender reaches their Earliest Date of Liberation (the two thirds point of their sentence or 6 months before the expiry of the sentence depending on when they were sentenced) at which point the Scottish Ministers are statutorily required to release the prisoner into the community on licence.

Extended sentence offenders are given a custodial part and an extended part of sentence by the court. The Board will deal with two types of extended sentence offenders. Those sentenced to a short term custodial part but the extended part takes the sentence overall to more than 4 years will be referred to the Board for licence conditions only. If the custodial part is more than 4 years they will considered in the same way as long term determinate offenders. Their licence will run to the end of the extended part of the sentence.

A life sentence prisoner is told at the time of sentencing in the court what the minimum period is that they must spend in prison. This is known as the punishment part of the sentence. They will have their case considered by a Tribunal of the Board as soon as possible after the punishment part has expired. If they are not released at the first review they are required by law to have a further review within 2 years. Subsequent reviews will be set by the tribunal.

How does an offender apply for parole?

What is a non parole licence?

Is parole a reward for good behaviour in prison?

Do sex offenders get parole?

Will the Board release an offender who denies his/her guilt?

When do I qualify for consideration for early release on parole?

Can I opt out of the parole system?

When do I qualify for consideration for release on life licence?

Who writes the reports for my parole review dossier?

Do I get to see all the reports in my parole review dossier?

What if I don't agree with a report written about me?

What does the Parole Board take into account when considering my case?

Can my parole date be withdrawn?

What will my licence say?

Can I appeal against the decision of the Parole Board?

Parole Board for Scotland
Saughton House, Broomhouse Drive, Edinburgh, EH11 3XD
Phone: 0131 244 8373
Fax: 0131 244 6974
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