At Olliers Prison Law, we believe that all prisoners should have representation for important matters that affect their access to liberty. We aim to provide a top service irrespective of your financial means and we offer fixed fees so that we can consider all of your papers and prepare representations on your behalf. Services that Olliers Prison Law provide on a privately funded basis include:
Re-categorisation and Category A Reviews
Our lawyers are experienced in drafting representations for clients who are eligible for consideration for a downgrade in security category status. We are also able to advise you on the prospects of challenging negative decisions and provide this assistance at a low fixed fee.
We also have experience in challenging incorrect security information that has been used to refuse a downgrading in security category.
Our specialist team at Olliers also has a wealth of experience in Category A reviews and has a track record of success in this area. We assist in the preparation of Category A reviews for those deemed to be Restricted and High Escape Risk prisoners. We prepare representations and submit them to the Category A Review team and the Director, who make the decision of downgrading. With Category A reviews we can also seek to try and secure an Oral Hearing for downgrading to be considered.
LISP 4 Reviews- Representation Before the Parole Board After Being Returned to Closed Prison
Too often our prison law team here at Olliers witness in particular, indeterminate sentenced prisoners being returned to closed prison once they have progressed to open conditions. In these cases, the returning open prison is required to prepare a report that provides the reasons for their decision. This report is called the LISP 4 and should be completed as soon as possible. Please see the justice website to provide you more guidance on this issue.
In the first instance, the prisoner is entitled to appeal against the decision. The appeal must be submitted within 28 days of the date of the decision.
Under section 239 of the Criminal Justice Act (2003), the Secretary of State for Justice is entitled to seek advice from the Parole Board for the re-categorisation (of category D back to C), of indeterminate sentenced prisoners. If this happens, the Parole Board will likely hold an oral hearing. This does not deter the original right to appeal.
If you believe that the reasons for your return are not justified or you have not been represented fairly in the LISP 4 report, Olliers’ prison law team can assist you. We have strong experience in this area and are passionate about defending the rights of prisoners who have been returned unfairly from open prison. In addition, we are able to represent you at the oral hearing if the Parole Board list you for one.
However, legal aid is not available for this type of written or oral representation. Olliers are able to discuss a private fee that works to your particular circumstances in these cases. The only instance in which a prisoner would be able to gain advocacy representation at a Parole Board oral hearing, is if the Parole Board combines the ‘return to closed’ review with the prisoner’s generic parole review.
This is something Olliers would be able to establish with the Parole Board to determine whether public funding is available in your instance or not.
Home Detention Curfew (HDC)
Home Detention Curfew (HDC) is a means by which a prisoner spends a proportion of their sentence confined to their home for a specified period of hours during each day. The prisoner is required to wear an electronic tag, which emits an electronic signal directly to the Prison Service to ensure the prisoner does not breach the curfew.
A prisoner is able to apply for HDC at the two thirds point of their custodial sentence. There must also be an assessment of the property in which the prisoner is registered to for HDC. The assessment is undertaken by the prisoner’s external probation officer, known as their offender manager. For more information please look at the Prison Service Instructions 43/2012 and 12/2015 that are both on the government’s justice website.
It is important that you are aware there is no legal aid available if you wish to make legal representations for a HDC application, or if you want to challenge the reasons for a negative HDC decision.
Mother and Baby Issues
When the funding to legal aid for prison law matters was changed in 2013, one of the areas that was cut was the funding to prisoners who needed help with what are known as ‘treatment’ issues. A very important example of this is where mothers who are in custody and are facing potential separation with their baby.
Olliers solicitors has first hand experience in dealing with these particular cases and we understand how they are incredibly sensitive and difficult for prisoners to go through. If you need to discuss a circumstance like this, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we can go over any concerns or questions you may have.
Challenge to Licence Conditions & Exclusion Zones
This particular issue faces a number of prisoners when they are released from prisons, where perhaps not all aspects of their individual circumstances have been considered by probation and other Ministry of Justice bodies and their licence conditions, including a proposed exclusion zone, are negatively affected as a result.
If you feel that your licence conditions or exclusion zone is particularly unfair, feel free to call a member of the Olliers prison law team and we can talk through any questions or issues you may have.
If you have been facing a particularly lengthy prison sentence, the prospect of your release can be incredibly daunting.
Olliers solicitors can provide legal advice and assistance to prisoners on the applications and legal procedure for early release, conditional release and automatic release from prison.
Contact our Specialist Prison Lawyers
We are based in Manchester and London but cover all prisons across England and Wales. Our specialist prison lawyers can be contacted on 0161 8341515 or by email at email@example.com. Alternatively you can write to us: Prison Law Department, Olliers Solicitors, Freepost, NEA13621, Manchester, M3 9ZL.