240 Parole Board members-None Black


The Parole Board for England and Wales is an independent body that carries out risk assessments on prisoners to determine whether they can be safely released into the community, and it is sponsored by the Ministry of Justice. The Parole Board currently has 246 Board members who are in charge of making assessments and final decisions, but only 13 of them are from a non-white background. Caroline Corby, who is the chairperson of the board, expresses “significant concern” of the lack of diversity on the board, adding that the recruitment procedure will change.

Currently, the Parole Board has no black board members, which is a severe issue for the black community in the United Kingdom. Black people in the UK are proportionally more likely to be in prison than those in the United States according to a study on the treatment of BME people in the criminal justice system. While only 3 per cent of the UK population are black, they make up 12 per cent of people in prison. However, only 13 of the Parole Board members are from a BME background, meaning that there is a higher chance of bias against black defendants and other ethnic minorities.

Corby claimed that the Parole Board had not received enough qualified applicants from BME backgrounds, resulting in a lack of diversity on the board. However, Corby also admitted that “there must have been some kind of unconscious bias in those processes.” There should be modifications regarding the selection process of the Parole Board in order to promote greater racial justice in the British legal system.

Marvin Kwang

UK Prison Population Statistics