Statutory Powers and Functions
The Parole Board for Scotland is a Tribunal Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB) which exists under the provisions of the Prisons (Scotland) Act 1989, the Prisoners and Criminal Proceedings (Scotland) Act 1993, the Convention Rights (Compliance) (Scotland) Act 2001 and the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003.
The Board has powers to:
• direct the release of determinate sentence prisoners serving four years or more and it may also make directions as to the licence conditions of such prisoners;
• direct the release of prisoners serving extended sentences where the custodial term is 4 years or more, make directions as to the licence conditions of such prisoners and make directions regarding the licence conditions of extended sentence prisoners where the combined custodial and extension period is 4 years or more;
• direct the release on life licence of life prisoners;
• recommend the recall to custody of those who were sentenced to a determinate sentence of 4 years imprisonment or more, life sentence prisoners who have been released on parole or life licence and extended sentence prisoners in circumstances where such action is considered to be in the public interest.
The Board may direct the Scottish Ministers to re-release any prisoner who has been recalled to custody without a recommendation of the Board or any prisoner who has been recalled with such a recommendation. The cases of life prisoners and extended sentence prisoners who are recalled to custody must be considered by a Tribunal of the Board.
The Board advises the Scottish Ministers on additional conditions to be attached to prisoners’ release licences.
The Board also operates as appellate body in the case of alleged breaches of Home Detention Curfew (HDC) conditions.
The Parole Board Rules
The Parole Board (Scotland) Rules 2001 set out the matters which may be taken into account by the Board in considering references by the Scottish Ministers. These include:-
• the nature and circumstances of any offence of which that person has been convicted or found guilty by a court of law;
• that person’s conduct since the date of his/her current sentence(s);
• the likelihood of that person committing any offence or causing harm to any other person if he/she were to be released on licence, remain on licence or to be re-released on licence as the case may be; and
• what that person intends to do if he/she were to be released on licence, remain on licence or be re-released on licence, as the case may be, and the likelihood of his/her fulfilling those intentions.
You may also like to see The Parole Board (Scotland) Amendment Rules 2010 which came into force on 21 May 2010, and The Parole Board (Scotland) Amendment Rules 2011 which came into force on 1 May 2011 and The Parole Board (Scotland) Amendment (No. 2) Rules 2012 which came into force on 26 June 2012.