High Court backs parole hearing right

Young offenders should be told they have the right to attend their parole hearings and be offered help from an appropriate adult to prepare for them, according to a High Court ruling.

The Howard League for Penal Reform last week won a judicial review of a decision by the Parole Board that a 15-year-old offender, known as K, was unsuitable for early release.

Mr Justice McCombe quashed the board’s original decision, saying it had failed to tell K he could attend an oral hearing and did not ensure an adult assisted him with his representations.

A Parole Board spokesperson said it was arranging for the case to be re-heard.

It is also talking with the National Offender Management Service about advice for juveniles applying for parole.


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