Parole board states reasons Charles Bronson was denied prison release
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Charles Bronson has been denied his parole, but now the Parole Board has published its findings from the hearing that took place at the start of March, explaining why it reached its decision.
Bronson won the right to have his case heard in public, and a parole hearing was held over the week commencing March 6 2023 to decide whether the criminal – who is one of Britain’s longest-serving prisoners – was fit for release or eligible for a move to a more open prison environment.
"The panel could only direct release if it was satisfied that it was no longer necessary for the protection of the public that Mr Salvador remained confined in prison," the Parole Board wrote.
In the end, it decided that the risk posed by Bronson – who now goes by the name Charles Salvador – was too great to put him back into the public, or even into an open prison away from the highly regulated circumstances he currently resides in at HMP Woodhill near Milton Keynes.
After the decision was announced, the Parole Board released a document in which the finer points of the case were discussed, outlining some of the reasons that Bronson was not found to be fit for release.
Ultimately, it concluded: “The panel could not be satisfied that Mr Salvador has the skills to manage his risk of future violence until he has been extensively tested outside of his current highly restricted environment.”
However, there was a piece of hope for the 70-year-old prisoner, as the findings noted that the panel ‘accepted that Mr Salvador genuinely wants to progress and that he is motivated to work towards his release.’
“It thought that there was evidence of improved self-control and better emotional management,” the document continued.
It also noted that there is a sentence plan in place to see how Bronson ‘manages himself in a more open unit with less restrictions on his behaviour’ in another prison, though not an open one.
It is the job of the Parole Board to mitigate risk factors to the public primarily, and it seems it did not see enough in Bronson to recommend his situation be changed dramatically.
The hearing document stated: “The panel was mindful of his history of persistent rule-breaking and that Mr Salvador sees little wrong with this.
“He lives his life rigidly by his own rules and code of conduct and is quick to judge others by his own standards."
“His positive progress has to be assessed in the context of him being held in a highly restrictive environment.
“In the panel’s view, it is unknown exactly what is containing Mr Salvador’s risk.
“It is unclear whether the strong external controls of custody are mainly responsible or whether his attitudes have genuinely changed.
“In the panel's view, this is a pivotal point in Mr Salvador's sentence when his motivation to desist from violence is at its highest.”
Bronson – the panel noted – ‘will be eligible for another parole review in due course’.
Should he continue to behave while inside, particularly after this setback, perhaps he'll achieve a different result next time.