Scope of Prison Law
The area of prison law legal aid has suffered serious cuts in scope in the last few years. However, several important areas of prison law remain in scope for legal aid funding; and many other areas can be privately funded by prisoners or their families. This blog is a quick reminder of areas that remain eligible for legal aid funding, and some examples of other matters that our experienced and professional prison law department can assist with privately. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if we can assist with any of the matters listed below, or any other issues: http://www.wainwrightcummins.co.uk/prison-law/.
Legally Aided Matters
- Parole reviews for life- and indeterminate-sentenced prisoners. This includes on-tariff and post-tariff reviews but not pre-tariff reviews (we can however deal with these on a private basis; see below). Both paper representations and oral hearings.
- Parole reviews for recalled prisoners: both paper representations and oral hearings.
- Independent Adjudications: this is an internal prison disciplinary matter. If a prisoner has been placed on report and his case has been referred to the Independent Adjudicator (aka the ‘Outside Judge’), we can attend the hearing to represent the prisoner. We cannot represent prisoners before the Governor except in exceptional circumstances; permission is very rarely granted.
- Appeals: we can appeal sentence or conviction or both, either directly to the Court of Appeal or via the CCRC.
- Sentence calculation: we can assist with the calculation of release dates. Clients should be more than six months post-sentence and should first have utilised the internal prison complaints system before we can take on a sentence calculation case.
We can assist privately with almost any other aspect of prison life. Some examples include:
- Transfer to a different prison
- Access to a particular course or qualification
- Return to open conditions after being removed to closed conditions
- Applications for Home Detention Curfew (HDC, or ‘tag’)
- Assisting clients with recategorisation, or appealing recategorisation decisions
- Removal from the ‘E-List’ of prisoners thought to be liable to escape
- Pre-tariff Parole reviews for life- and indeterminate-sentenced prisoners; both paper representations and oral hearings
- Almost any other issue experienced by serving prisoners