Following the High Court ruling against the Parole Board that John Worboys should not be released, the Chair of the Parole Board – Nick Hardwick – resigned. I wanted to understand what the Secretary of State meant in his statement regarding rule 25.
This rule currently allows the Parole Board to keep the decision making process on granting parole secret. It is obvious that more transparency is needed and the public should know as many of the facts as possible behind the decisions taken to release a prisoner early.
I am sure the Government will produce more findings and reports on this technical, but important, rule and I will scrutinise it closely to ensure it meets the transparency we all expect from our public bodies.
The announcement by the Parole Board that John Worboys, a convicted sex offender, will be released on licence raises serious questions over the Government’s handling of parole.
Post release supervision is an important aspect of our parole system and I wanted assurances from the new Secretary of State that he will take actions to mend the ‘fractured system’ described by Dame Glenys Stacey – the Chief Inspector of the Parole system.
The part privatisation of the probation system has had a serious impact upon the parole system. I warned at the time of the privatisation that this would happen but the Government ploughed on regardless. Now is time to take stock, think of victims of crime and mend the failed ideological measures taken by the Conservatives.