Release under Supervision Board

Relevant Factors to be Considered by the Board

On receiving an application made under Section 6 of the Prisoners (Release under Supervision) Ordinance, the Secretary of the Release under Supervision Board (the Board) liaises with the departments concerned to compile the following documents as stipulated in the Ordinance for the Board’s consideration:

(a) a report of the Superintendent of the correctional institution on the conduct of the applicant during incarceration, with recommendation on the application;

(b) any report that was prepared for the court of trial to assist the trial judge or magistrate, as the case may be, in determining the sentence of the applicant;

(c) any recorded observations of the trial judge or magistrate, as the case may be, in passing sentence;

(d) any medical reports on the applicant that are available to the Board, which may include reports from psychiatrists and psychologists; and

(e) any report and recommendation which the Commissioner of Police or other law enforcement authority has made for the Board.

Under the Prisoners (Release under Supervision) Regulations, an applicant has the right to make written representations to the Board regarding his application. In addition to the reports mentioned above and the prisoner’s written representations, the Board also considers other documents such as letters from the prisoner’s family members, friends, solicitors, religious bodies, etc., and offers of employment where available. In the case of an application for the Release under Supervision Scheme recommended by the Correctional Services Department, a social profile report is compiled on the spouse or the close relative who will be helping the prisoner with his rehabilitation upon release from prison for the Board’s consideration.

In determining whether to make a recommendation to release an applicant under supervision, the Board considers the following 12 factors as prescribed in the First Schedule to the Prisoners (Release under Supervision) Regulations, and any other relevant factors :

(a) his personality, maturity, stability, sense of responsibility and any apparent development in personality which may promote or hinder his capacity to comply with the law and with conditions in his supervision order;

(b) the adequacy of supervision available for his supervision order;

(c) his ability and readiness to assume obligations and to undertake responsibilities;

(d) his intelligence and training;

(e) his family circumstances;

(f) his associates before imprisonment;

(g) where he proposes to reside on release from imprisonment;

(h) any history of the use by him of drugs, or of involvement by him with any person who holds a criminal record;

(i) his criminal record;

(j) his conduct in prison;

(k) his attitude towards authority and the law; and

(l) his conduct during any previous period of probation, care, supervision or licence.

As stipulated in the First Schedule mentioned above, the Board will not recommend an application if it concludes that :

(a) it is unlikely that the applicant will comply with the conditions of his supervision order;

(b) a supervision order in respect of the applicant would be inappropriate having regard to the gravity of the offence for which the applicant was sentenced to imprisonment; or

(c) continuing correctional treatment, medical care, or vocational or other training in an institution of the Correctional Services Department would substantially enhance the capacity of the applicant to lead a law-abiding life if he were released at a later date.