Parole, Probation and Prisons – Past, Present and Future
marking 50 years of The Parole Board

6 November 2017 | Royal Institute of British Architects

The roster of speakers was, by any standard, exceptional, as a distinguished audience of over 200 delegates gathered at the Royal Institute of British Architects in London on November 6th for ‘Parole, Probation and Prisons – Past, Present and Future.’ Organised by The Butler Trust and supported by HM Prison & Probation Service (HMPPS), the conference marked the 50th Anniversary of The Parole Board.

Opening / Welcome
Simon Shepherd, Director, The Butler Trust

Simon Shepherd, Director of the Butler Trust, who chaired the event, welcomed delegates with an engaging address that included extracts from the BAFTA Award winning Rex Bloomstein’s 1979 Inside Story documentary, ‘Parole’. Rex himself was among many notable delegates from across and beyond the sector.

Parole – 50 Years and Counting
Prof Nick Hardwick, Chair, The Parole Board
Prisons & Probation – Past, Present, Future
Michael Spurr, Chief Executive Officer, HMPPS

Professor Nick Hardwick, Chair of the Parole Board, gave a stimulating presentation, looking back over the last 50 years of parole, and outlining his priorities for the future, including a strong call for increased diversity. Michael Spurr, CEO of HMPPS, then gave the audience a punchy and inspiring address (punctuated by important football-related asides) tracing some remarkable progress and changes in prisons and probation over the last half century, and putting in to historical context some of the major challenges currently facing the sector.

A Vision for Community Supervision
Prof Fergus McNeill, Professor of Criminology & Social Work, University of Glasgow
The Future of Risk Assessment and Public Protection
Dr Jackie Craissati MBE, Consultant Psychologist, Psychological Approaches CIC

Professor Fergus McNeill, of the University of Glasgow, offered a vision for community supervision, which dovetailed in interesting ways with the next presentation, from Consultant Psychologist Dr Jackie Craissati MBE, of Psychological Approaches, who set out her thoughts on the future of risk assessment and public protection.

Making Prisons Better
Prof Alison Liebling, Professor of Criminology & Criminal Justice, University of Cambridge
A Service User Perspective
Mark Johnson MBE, Founder / CEO, User Voice

Professor Alison Liebling, of the University of Cambridge, shared some box-fresh data as part of a powerful analysis of key factors in making prisons better. Mark Johnson MBE, Founder and CEO of User Voice, gave a service user perspective, with a strong call for prison, probation and parole services to recognise and incorporate the unique value of service users in their decision-making.

Victims in the Criminal Justice System
Baroness Newlove, Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales
Keynote Address
The Rt Hon David Lidington MP, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice

Baroness Newlove, Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales, gave an impassioned and moving presentation, giving a victims’ perspective on parole and the parole process, and how these could be improved. The Rt Hon. David Lidington MP, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, gave a gracious Keynote Address, praising the Parole Board for its work, and outlining his vision for the criminal justice sector.

Closing Remarks
Martin Jones
, Chief Executive Officer, The Parole Board

Martin Jones, CEO of The Parole Board, then gave some closing remarks. He thanked the outstandingly impressive speakers on behalf of the audience, and noted that the event was “a wonderful opportunity to mark the Parole Board’s 50th Anniversary, to reflect on how parole has changed during that time, and to have a forward look at what the future holds.” Delegates then left to the cheerful sound of The Beatles’ Hello Goodbye – also born, almost exactly half a century before, less than two miles away.