Parole Board

The Parole Board was established by the Minister for Justice & Equality on an administrative basis in April 2001. Its principal function is to advise the Minister for Justice & Equality in relation to the administration of long-term prison sentences.

The Interim Parole Board reviews the cases of prisoners sentenced to determinate sentences of eight years or more. Prisoners serving sentences for certain offences, such as the murder of a member of the Garda Síochána or the Prison Service in the course of their duty, are excluded from the process.

The Board, by way of recommendation to the Minister, advises of the prisoner’s progress to date, the degree to which the prisoner has engaged with the various therapeutic services and how best to proceed with the future administration of the sentence.

The Board, which acts in an advisory capacity to the Minister of Justice, reviews the cases of eligible prisoners sentenced to eight years or more, but less than fourteen years, at the half sentence stage and the cases of prisoners sentenced to fourteen years or more to a life sentence after seven years of that sentence has been served.

The Board makes representations to the Minister of Justice in relation to the management of offenders serving long sentences. In making their recommendation, the Parole Board considers a number of factors which include:

  • Would release constitute a threat to the community?
  • Whether it is reasonable to grant early/temporary release in view of the nature and circumstances of the offence committed?
  • Does the offender warrant release having regard to behaviour in custody?
  • Whether there are any compelling compassionate grounds which merit special consideration?
  • Whether the offender has engaged constructively with the prison based therapeutic services to combat his/her offending behaviour?

The final decision regarding the recommendations of the Parole Board lies with the Minister, who can accept them in their entirety, in part or reject them. The experience of recent years is that prisoners would normally be reviewed on a number of occasions over a number of years before any substantial concessions would be recommended.

You can make submissions to the Board to express your views regarding the release of a prisoner.   You will need to do this in writing (details below).  Any submission you make will be added to the prisoner’s file and will be considered by the Board.

In the case of prisoners serving a life sentence, families can also express their view regarding restriction on where a lifer can resign after release.

It is important to know that any submission you make will be added to the prisoner’s file and will be available to the prisoner.

To find out when a prisoner is eligible for parole, you should contact:
Irish Prison Service, Victim Liaison Officer, Irish Prison Service Headquarters, IDA Business Park, Ballinalee Road, Longford

Tel: 043 35158
Fax: 043 35107
Email: vlo@irishprisons.ie

Submission should be sent to:

The Parole Board, 2nd Floor, 6/7 Hanover Street, Dublin 2

Phone+353 1 4748767/ 4748770
Fax+353 1 4748713
Email: info@paroleboard.gov.ie

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