15th September 2023
The Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT) welcomes the publication of the Parole Board's Annual Report 2021-2022. As the first Annual Report the Board has published since becoming a statutory body, it is a very important step forward.
The Parole Board is an independent statutory body that considers applications for parole from prisoners serving life sentences once the prisoners concerned have served at least 12 years of their sentence. The Board invites applications for parole from people who have served at least 10 and a half years of their life sentence.
During the period of the Annual Report, 22 people's applications for parole were reviewed and 1 person was granted release on parole. By the end of 2022, the Board was engaging with 105 applications for parole. IPRT would hope to see more applications processed in next year's report.
We also hope that a new case management system will be in place for next year's report to provide more in-depth statistics and analysis.
Additionally, we anticipate that the Minister will consider the policy basis for the introduction of regulations to determine eligibility for parole - including those serving long term fixed sentences - by Q4 of 2023 as outlined in the Review of Policy Options for Prison and Penal Reform 2022-2024.
The Parole Board's Annual Report 2021-2022 is an important read for us in IPRT given we often get queries from people in prison about how the new system works.
Read Parole Board's Annual Report 2021-2022 here.