Warning over prison release delay

Sir David headed the Parole Board for three years

There is a risk of jail disturbances and compensation claims due to delays in assessing inmates for release in England and Wales, an ex-official says. The Parole Board would struggle to make decisions on time without extra funds, its former chairman told the BBC. Sir David Latham also said lessons must be learned about community supervision after several high-profile ex-prisoners broke the terms of their release. The government said the board's finances were regularly reviewed. A former Court of Appeal judge, Sir David Latham retired as chairman of the Parole Board of England and Wales in April 2012 after three years in the job. In his first interview since his departure, Sir David voiced concerns about the board's workload at a time when the organisation was severely stretched. "The pips are squeaking," he said. The board, whose main job is to decide when it is safe to release prisoners who have committed serious crimes, is expected to deal with 26,071 cases by April 2013 - almost 4,000 more than the year before.

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