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Prisoners (Early Release)

Volume 405: debated on Thursday 22 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many prisoners have been released from prisons in Great Britain under the terms of the early release of prisoners scheme drawn up under the Belfast Agreement. [112899]

To qualify for early release under the legislation, the Northern Ireland (Sentences) Act 1998, a person must be serving his sentence in Northern Ireland. Therefore, no prisoners have been released from prisons in Great Britain under the terms of the early release scheme. Nevertheless, 21 of the 447 prisoners granted early release committed their offences in Great Britain but had transferred to prison in Northern Ireland prior to making application.