Nottingham prison law specialist Irene Tolley finally secured release for a client at his seventh parole review. Irene was introduced to the client at HMP Ranby through recommendations by other inmates in time for the final review. Although he had representation during previous reviews, these had been without success.
Twelve years over tariff
Irene’s client was serving an automatic life sentence. He had been sentenced in 2001 and his tariff was set at five years less the time he had served on remand. His tariff had expired in April 2005 therefore by the time Irene became involved he was more than twelve years over tariff. He had served sixteen years because of problems with his sentence progression.
Bearing in mind the passage of time Irene’s application on behalf of her client was that he be immediately released. Unfortunately, nobody involved in her client’s assessment was supportive of such a suggestion. This included the offender supervisor, offender manager and prison psychologist.
Although the application had been prepared and submitted in good time, it had not been passed onto the panel chair or offender manager. Directions had been given previously for the offender manager to provide a full risk management plan but this plan had not been prepared. This made matters difficult for the panel because they would have to consider release conditions.
Strong and persuasive arguments
Irene put forward strong and persuasive arguments on behalf of her client in order to try and secure his release:
- he had simply been in custody too long
- he had been let down by the prison system with regard to courses and as a result three years were wasted in terms or progression to release
- there was a real concern that if open conditions were recommended then he may not have a risk assessment within a three month period at that establishment
- his current offender manager would not be able to carry out an assessment because his involvement was to cease
- there was no information as to who the new offender manager would be or when they would be allocated
- as a result there was a realistic possibility that his case would not have moved on any further by the next review date in terms of risk assessment
Despite the fact that there was no risk assessment, the panel were persuaded that Irene’s client should be released into supervised accommodation with only three additional licence conditions.
Irene’s client will no doubt be very pleased with the outcome of the this hearing, and will finally be able to continue with his rehabilitation within the community.
Instruct a prison law specialist
This case demonstrates that having the benefit of a specialist prison law adviser can persuade bodies such as the Parole Board to make decisions that are somewhat unusual.
Contact Nottingham prison law specialist Irene Tolley if you, a family member or friend need the benefit of her advice. She can be contacted by telephone on 0115 9599550 or by post at the Nottingham office. Alternatively you can use the form below.