Magazine article Public Finance

Delays in Parole Verdicts Are Costing Millions

Magazine article Public Finance

Delays in Parole Verdicts Are Costing Millions

Article excerpt

Parole decisions are being held up at a cost of millions of pounds a year due to increased caseloads and Inefficiency across criminal justice agencies, MPs have said.

A Public Accounts Committee Inquiry Into the Parole Board identified a series of factors that are leading to delays In two-thirds of parole cases, with at least ZO% a year delayed.

Harry Fletcher, assistant general secretary of the National Association of Probation Officers, said the board was suffering from a casework overload.

Atthouqh delays have blighted the system for years, the recent Increase was partly down to more offenders requesting oral hearings, said Fletcher.

'There are an additional 1,000 to 2,000 places being taken up in the prison system because of delays/ he said. 'It's crazy economics. The Parole Board hasn't got enough staff to process cases on time. It costs the prison service millions in keeping them inside, but there doesn't seem to be a mechanism to give more funding to the Parole Board. …

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