Techie1 + 2,024 Posted October 21, 2017 Share Posted October 21, 2017 Offenders whose cases are held up can claim payouts even if they are ultimately kept behind bars. Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/PA Wire Criminals are in line for £1 million in taxpayer-funded compensation pay-outs over delays in parole proceedings, it has been revealed. Offenders whose cases are held up can claim payouts under human rights laws - even if they are ultimately kept behind bars. MPs heard the Parole Board for England and Wales expects the total sum to run to seven figures this year as it works through a backlog. A senior official said it was a "huge" amount, while a government minister admitted it was "far too high". In 2016/17, the body made 578 compensation payments to prisoners totalling £938,000 - nearly double the £554,000 paid out in the the previous year. Parole Board chief executive Martin Jones told the Commons Justice Committee: "For this year I expect the total amount paid in damages to prisoners to actually go up because we are making such progress on the backlog. "The problem that we have is the point at which you claim for damages is when your case is concluded. "As we conclude those really old cases, people are then coming forward to say 'actually my case was delayed for three to six months' and claiming the appropriate amount of money. "I'm expecting this year probably to pay about a million pounds. "That's a huge amount of money and an enormous concern, but I expect it to come down quite sharply next year." The Parole Board is responsible for deciding whether prisoners can be safely released from prison, and advising on movement between closed and open prisons across England and Wales Earlier this year a watchdog detailed how delays mean that some inmates may have spent longer in jail than they would have if their parole hearing had been held sooner. The report, published in February by the National Audit Office, said prisoners who experience delays can claim compensation under the Human Rights Act once their case has been completed. If they are turned down for parole they can still claim at a rate of around £50 per month of delay, which rises to roughly £650 per month of delay for applicants who are freed following a hold-up. The Parole Board saw the number of outstanding cases jump sharply in the wake of a legal ruling in 2013. At its peak in January 2015, the backlog reached 3,163. MPs heard this figure has now been brought below 1,300. Referring to the £938,000 compensation bill for 2016/17, committee chairman Bob Neill suggested to Prisons Minister Sam Gyimah that it was a "waste of money". Mr Gyimah said he would use a "different form of words", but accepted that the sum was "far too high". View on Police Oracle Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Create an account or sign in to comment
You need to be a member in order to leave a comment
Create an account
Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!Register a new account
Already have an account? Sign in here.Sign In Now