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Parole

Volume 711: debated on Monday 1 June 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, in the light of Sean Hodgson's successful appeal against conviction after 27 years in jail, the Parole Board will review its guidelines for dealing with parole applications by prisoners who maintain their innocence. [HL3763]

The Parole Board must by law accept that a prisoner convicted in a court of law has been found guilty. We currently have no plans to review Parole Board guidance for dealing with prisoners who maintain their innocence. Denial of the offence does make the board’s job more difficult, as some courses in prison involve prisoners talking about their offence and this cannot happen when a prisoner maintains their innocence. The board therefore has to look at other evidence that shows the prisoner's attitude and behaviour are such that they are safe to be released.