§ Mr. Wheeler
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the average delay in processing parole applications; how many prisoners who were granted parole had their release on parole delayed by the time taken to process their applications in 1987; and by how much the prison population would be reduced if such delays were eliminated.
§ Mr. Douglas Hogg
The information is not available in the exact form requested. In 1987, in about one third of first parole reviews, no decision was reached by a target date designed to allow release on the parole eligibility date. The average delay in these cases was three weeks. Assuming similar delays for subsequent reviews, had all these delays not occurred, the estimated aggregate effect would have been equivalent to a reduction in the average annual prison population of about 400.