Justice Minister reappoints Chief Parole Commissioner

Date published: 03 October 2022

Justice Minister Naomi Long has announced the reappointment of Paul Mageean to the role of Chief Parole Commissioner for Northern Ireland.

justice minister Naomi Long pictured

Mrs Long also announced the reappointment of thirty three Parole Commissioners. 

Speaking about the appointments, Mrs Long said: “I am grateful to Paul Mageean and the other reappointed Parole Commissioners for their willingness to continue in the roles of Chief Commissioner and Parole Commissioner for Northern Ireland.

“These roles are critical in providing independent decisions in the process of deciding whether offenders eligible for parole are safe to release back into the community.  Public protection is always paramount and painstaking risk assessment is the key to making a robust decision.”

The Parole Commissioners are an independent body of experienced people who make decisions on the release and recall of all life sentence and public protection sentence prisoners in Northern Ireland. They also make decisions on the recall and further release of determinate custodial sentenced prisoners who have been sentenced to 12 months or more.

Notes to editors: 

1.           The Parole Commissioners were established on 15 May 2008 through the renaming of the Life Sentence Review Commissioners (LSRC) under Article 46(1) of the Criminal Justice (Northern Ireland) Order 2008 and are required by legislation to decide on the release of life sentenced prisoners, prisoners serving indeterminate custodial sentences and prisoners serving extended custodial sentences and whether those released on licence should be recalled.

2.           There are currently 38 Parole Commissioners covering the roles Chief Commissioner, Criminal Justice, Legal, Psychiatry and Psychology.

3.           The Commissioners are based in Laganside Court, Belfast.

4.           Commissioner’s appointments will generally be for a three year term from 9 September 2022.

5.           All media enquiries should be directed to the Department of Justice Press Office via Email.

6. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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