In October, the Parole Board released its Annual Report for the year 2012.
The recent ACJRD/Parole Board conference event signals a new approach to parole in Ireland, and signposts the hope of providing a clear and transparent process. Minister Shatter has confirmed that the Working Group should report early in 2014 on the proposed legislative underpinning of the Board. It is understood any such statutory footing would place the Board independent of the Minister.
66 prisoners were referred to the Board in 2012, 44 persons accepted the invitation to participate. In total, including previous cases on review, the Board dealt with 268 prisoners. The Board convened on 12 occasions throughout the year, reviewing 91 cases and holding 44 interviews with first-time cases. In total, 73 interviews were held. This was an increase of 11% on 2011.
In response, the IPRT welcomed the commitment to place the Parole Board on a statutory footing, as well as the increased engagement with prisoners regarding information about the procedures and a commitment to disseminate information and demystify the process.