back to article Poor data handling keeps prisoners inside

The National Audit Office says the work of the Parole Board is hampered by the lack of timely information from other parts of the criminal justice system. Prisoners who may be eligible for parole are having their case hearings delayed because of poor information handling by the criminal justice system. One of the most common …

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Coat

Makes a change...

for the poor criminal to be on the recieving end of "poor data handling" as opposed to the rest of us. This problem would be solved by simply eliminating parole altogether, and adding time ON to sentences if they can't or won't behave whilst banged up.

Mine is the flame resistant one!

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Anonymous Coward

no parole period is unsafe

The big problem is misbehaviour when they get out, often caused by their failure to readapt to outside of prison.

If a prisoner is released on license 18 months before the end of their sentence, they are closely supervised during that period. They can easily (a wave of a pen by a probation officer) be instantly returned to prison if they breach the license conditions.

That makes for a sort of halfway house, creating a disciplined and supervised return to outside society.

On the other hand, if their latest release date arrives before the parole board have considered their case, they are simply released with no attached license conditions. Left to run wild from Day One.

That is unsafe for the rest of society. And it is happening more and more.

The only way to stop it is for the parole board to work more effectively

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Good

Am I the only one who thinks this is a good thing?

If I were ever bought to power the first thing I'd do is double all sentences for all crimes. Except stupid things like pensioners not paying council tax, who would never go in the first place.

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Happy

No great loss

Oh well, some murderers, rapists, muggers, thives and other scumbags have to server a little longer. heart blleds, Ho hum.....

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Paris Hilton

Unlawful imprisonment?

If a parole hearing is postponed and then the offender is subsequently released, can compensation be claimed for the additional days spent locked up?

Paris coz she's my favourite gaol-bird!

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Anonymous Coward

@neil

Cant help but agree with you, maybe harsher sentences would be more of a deterant to people and if it isnt they still go away from long times.

Everyone wins

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Full up

The problem is they can't put new ones inside whilst the old ones are still stuck in there. So, much as the old lags are greatly enjoying their shivs and buggery they have done some time so need to clear out or be hanged to make space.

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Joke

@Red

Nope, as nearly every prisoner in this country only serves a fraction of the sentance, running over is no great problem....

For exapmple, if you want to bup of the other half, get pissed, mow her down in the motor, get 5 years out in 3, retire on insurance in spain.

Yours,

Stu....in Spain....

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@ Chris Collins

"or be hanged to make space"

Hammer. Nail. Head. (for some at least!)

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Restorative Justice

An interesting experiment was carried out, called "restorative justice" - involving making the criminal face the victim. It was remarkably effective, and reduced re-offending rates dramatically. It also cost a tiny fraction of the costs of prison. Yet the Home office scrapped the experiment, rather than rolling it out nationwide. Idiots.

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@dervheid

The thing is, it is easier not to reduce a prisoner's sentence for misbehaviour, than to add more time.

For the latter you have to prove, beyond all reasonable doubt, that the prisoner failed to follow rules. I'd imagine early release is at the governor's discretion, subject to Home Office's rules.

If he was just being a cheeky PITA rather than actively breaking the rules, then it would be hard to increase his sentence, but the governor could just not reduce it.

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Paris Hilton

Money to burn.

Quote: "The initiative, which started five years ago with a £2bn budget, aimed to modernise and improve data sharing within the criminal justice system in England and Wales, as well as generate cost savings of £2.6bn".

After all the recent data that has been "shared" with everyone (by loss), wasting £2bn to share data seems an awful lot of money when all they had to do was to leave it in a taxi or something like that for free and reap in the £2.6bn of cost savings into the bargain.

Paris - cos even she could come up with a cheaper sharing system.

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Anonymous Coward

erd and lrd

The parole board can only recommend release between a prisoner's ERD (earliest release date) and their LRD (latest release date).

Simplifying a lot: for a sentence over 4 years, the ERD is the halfway point. The LRD is the four year mark.

The prisoner may well have enough evidence at the 2-year mark that they can be released under license for the next two years. If the parole board agree, society saves a fortune (around £65,000 in total) in not keeping that prisoner banged up for the second two years.

If the parole board does not get around to hearing the case until the three-year mark, that's just cost all us tax payers over £30,000.

Of course, if the prisoner does not have the evidence, they stay in until their LRD -- which is a date set by the courts.

Upposts in this thread have suggested that the prison service should be able to overrule the Courts on the LRD. If they could do that, they could jail YOU with immediate effect and no habeus corpus to save you.

That's a dangerous power to bestow on a prison service.

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@Richard Neill

IM (cynical) O the reason that Restorative Justice wasn't continued with is that it doesn't make for attention grabbing headlines about being "tough on crime" and leaves the proposers open to charges of being "bleeding heart liberals" who want to "give criminals a slap on the wrist" etc etc.

The fact that it seems to actually *work* is a mere irrelevance.

Oh and before the "Hang them and flog them" brigade start, perhaps they'd actually like to do a little research at http://www.restorativejustice.org.uk/

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Pirate

@ @neil

<Cant help but agree with you, maybe harsher sentences would be more of a deterant to people and if it isnt they still go away from long times.>

Don't matter how long the sentance is, it will not be a deterent as long as poloce detection rates are at only 10%. If the crim has only a 1 in 10 chance of getting cought, the sentence he "might" get is irrilivant.

Until police can catch 90% of the crims imprisonment will not be a deterent.

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