Fit for purpose? OASys assessments and parole decisions
This article arose out of the increased focus by the public, government and professions on whether parole board decisions, and the risk assessments that inform those decisions, protect the public sufficiently in the light of recent high profile inquiries into serious further offences (HM Inspectorate of Probation, 2006a, 2006b) and the Joint Thematic Inspection Report Promoting Public Protection (HM Inspectorate of Probation, 2006c). The purpose of this study was to examine whether home probation officer and seconded probation officer parole reports were helpful in terms of assessment of risk and consistent with the OASys risk assessment present in the parole dossiers. The research study revealed a number of interesting findings in terms of quality of reports, and supported other evidence noted in recent publications (Harding, 2006; HM Inspectorate of Probation, 2006c).