This guide explains how to apply for parole if you are a young offender. Find out who can apply and what help is available.
As a rule, it is age that determines whether young offenders can apply for parole.
The age groups that dictate whether you get parole as a young offender are:
What does parole mean for young offenders? It means they can leave prison or get released from custody before the end of their sentence. But, they will be kept under some kind of supervision after leaving prison.
Often, you must apply for parole yourself. But in some cases, the government will apply for you. It depends on what type of prison sentence you are serving.
The prison staff will help you get a solicitor. They are legal advisers who help young offenders get parole. In some cases you might be eligible for legal aid to help cover the costs.
Note: The rules for parole are different for adults. Parole procedures for young offenders also differ in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Young offenders can apply for parole if they are:
You can apply 6 months before your 'tariff' expires. Often, that is halfway through the sentence. A tariff is the minimum amount of time the court ordered you to stay in prison.
In the UK, the government will apply for parole for young offenders who are serving a life sentence. But, parole is only considered after they serve out their tariff.
They will contact you:
There are several places that young offenders can get help. The staff at your detention center can help as well as supporters outside. The Offender Management Unit can give you the name and contact number of your case manager. You can get help from:
Note: There is extra support available for the family and friends of young offenders.
Check to see if you qualify for legal aid to help pay for the costs when you apply for parole.
You can also contact these outside support organisations for further help:
The Parole Board can help with advice on parole procedures for young offenders.
Telephone: 020 3334 4402
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Staff working in your unit will make a case file. It will include information about your life inside a prison and:
Note: Often, a victim personal statement also goes in your case file. The document states how the victim feels about you getting released from prison.
The Parole Board send you a letter a few days after they make a decision. It explains what they have decided for your parole request and why they came to their decision.
Note: Parole procedures for young offenders can take up to 6 months to complete.
If you get parole, your release takes place on the first date that you can take parole (or as soon as possible). But, you will have supervision when you leave. The judiciary system calls this being on probation or 'on licence'.
If you fail to get parole your case gets sent back to the Parole Board at regular intervals.
In fact prisoners cannot appeal against a Parole Board decision. But in some cases they can apply for a judicial review.
Parole Procedures for Young Offenders in the United Kingdom