Parole Home Background Report
Requests for Parole Reports encompass provision of information and assessments from prison and community based social workers. Requests are identified from a monthly list provided to the prison by the Parole Unit. Six weeks are allowed for the preparation of such reports which should be based on a minimum of two interviews with the prisoner by the prison social worker and on a home visit to the family and visit to the prisoner by the supervising officer. Only in exceptional circumstances should the report be allocated to a worker other than the supervising officer.
On receipt of the request the prison social worker should arrange to meet with the prisoner to:
- Check proposed release address.
- Explain the parole process and purpose of the report.
- Ensure that the prisoner wishes to be considered for Parole.
- Update risk assessments.
- Discuss plans for release.
- Discuss conditions and additional conditions of a Parole Licence.
Elicit the information required for the report i.e.
The nature of the offending behaviour, the risk of re-offending and the nature of underlying problems associated with offending, the offender's understanding of his/her offending behaviour, the offender's ability and motivation to change his/her attitudes/behaviour, the offender's social circumstances and availability of support, emotional state including self esteem, mental health and history of self harm, physical health, degree of stress experienced related to stigma of particular offence and attitude toward supervision.
The prison social worker will then request a Home Background report from the supervising officer providing a copy of the prison social work report and any risk assessments. The supervising social worker will arrange a visit to the family home and to the prisoner to elicit the required information for the report.
The Home Background Report will describe the social and family context to which the prisoner intends to return and the extent to which this is likely to be supportive or otherwise, the level and nature of supervision and support that will be provided to the prisoner and his family on his release and details of any resources or programmes which may be offered to assist successful social inclusion and reduce the risk of re-offending and of causing harm.
On completion the reports are forwarded to the prison and incorporated in theParole Dossier. These reports are considered by a meeting of the Parole Board for determinate sentence prisoners and by a Lifer Review Tribunal for those serving life sentences.
Case Study: George Brown
You will find below copies of reports for the Parole Board about Mr Brown from the prison social worker and supervising officer.
Under the heading of Case Study in the Initial Interview section of the map you will find extracts from the Social Enquiry Report provided for Mr Browns court appearance. There is also a short video of the prison social worker's initial interview with Mr Brown.
Case Study Files
- SEJD Circular12/2002. Enhanced Throughcare: Home Background Reports (PDF, 66KB)
- SEJD  Release of Life Prisoners; Guidance (PDF, 57KB)
- SWSG Circular 14 /1998 Extended Sentences: Home Background Reports (PDF, 47KB)
- SEJD Circular 18/2003. Protecting Children: Guidance on the Imprisonment and Preparation for Release of Schedule 1 Offenders — Home Background Reports (PDF, 9KB)
- SEJD (2004) National Objectives and Standards for Social Work Services in the Criminal Justice System. Throughcare: the role of the social worker in the community. (PDF, 42KB)
- SEJD (2004) National Objectives and Standards for Social Work Services in the Criminal Justice System. Throughcare: the role of social workers in prisons. (PDF, 42KB)
- SEJD (2004) National Objectives and Standards for Social Work Services in the Criminal Justice System. Throughcare: Legislation — Home Background Reports (PDF, 42KB)
- Quality Assurance in Parole Reports — Form (PDF, 76KB)
Home Background Report Resources
In the interest of embracing social inclusion for ex-prisoners it is important to be imaginative and creative in using all available community resources to meet their needs. This will include Jobcentres, Careers Scotland, Colleges, Churches, Families and Friends, Local Health Services including Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology, Local Authority Housing Departments, Housing Associations, Citizens Advice, Local Organisations that recruit volunteers, etc. There is however a number of statutory and voluntary organisations developed to meet the needs of ex-offenders including: