What is it?
As soon as a short-term prisoner has served one-half of his sentence, the Scottish Ministers must release him unconditionally, and, as soon as a long-term prisoner has served two-thirds of his sentence, the Scottish Ministers must release him on licence.
Where a long-term prisoner has served half his sentence, the Scottish Ministers must release him on licence if recommended to do so by the Parole Board (unless he is liable to deportation, in which case the Scottish Ministers have a discretion as to whether to release him).
The Criminal Justice Act 1967 (ss.59 to 64) contains provisions relating to the release on licence of prisoners in Scotland. There is a separate Parole Board for Scotland and consultation before release on licence is with the Lord Justice General.
Part I of the Prisoners and Criminal Proceedings (Scotland) Act 1993 (the 1993 Act), as amended by the Crime and Punishment (Scotland) Act 1997 and the Convention Rights (Compliance) (Scotland) Act 2001, makes arrangements for the early release of prisoners serving determinate sentences and for their supervision and liabilities after release; and for the review and release of life sentence prisoners. The provisions are similar to those contained in Part II of the 1991 Act.
Among the conditions which may be included in a licence is the remote monitoring of a person's whereabouts or compliance with any other conditions of the licence (i.e., electronic tagging) (Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003, s.40).
When eligible for consideration for parole, what is knows as a parole dossier is prepared by the prison authorities. You are given a copy of this and are expected to prepare your own submissions.
We have a huge amount of experience in preparing these and will review the whole dossier and prepare a typed dossier for you to submit.
Don't be persuaded by the prison authorities that they have to see your submissions and that they have to type it up for you. In our experience they have tried to do so on many occasions. They have no right to see what you want to say to the Parole Board. That's between you and the Board!
In addition to the standard conditions of parole extra conditions can be added. If you are unhappy about these we can make representations to the Board for you.
Refusal of Parole
If your application for parole is refused we can seek a review for you and make representations to the Board and appeal the refusal and continue to make representation for you until parole is granted.
If released on parole you will have to report to a Parole Officer. In Scotland he or she is a social worker employed by the local authority. In England and Wales he or she is employed by the National Probation Service.
If any problems arise in connection with the administration of parole we will be happy to discuss these areas with your parole officer direct.
Parolees under the Scottish system who live in England can have their Scottish Parole licence transferred. In these cases the parole licence remains Scottish but is administered by the National Probation Service. We have seen instances of foreign travel being refused. There is no blanket condition under the Scottish system against foreign travel. There is such a restriction within the English system. If you are facing any difficulty in this regard we will take your case up with the senior officer of your local probation area and take your case on to the Prisons and Parole Ombudsman if need be.