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Life Sentences

Volume 455: debated on Monday 8 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average time spent in prison was for those (a) convicted of murder and (b) serving all other life sentences in each of the last 10 years. (108847)

Information on the average time served by sentenced prisoners (a) convicted of murder (mandatory life sentences) and (b) on other life sentences between 1995 and 2005 is provided in the following table, which is published as table 10.5 in the Offender Management Caseload Statistics 2005 a copy of which can be found in the House of Commons Library.

These figures have been drawn from administrative IT systems. Although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system, and although shown to the last individual the figures may not be accurate to that level.

Table 10.5 Number of first releases from prison on life licence and average time served

Year of first release

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

Total released

84

83

89

94

120

113

122

144

223

205

200

Mandatory lifers

Number

54

69

78

86

110

101

111

117

185

152

156

Mean time served (years)

14

13

14

13

13

13

13

14

15

14

14

Median time served (years)

13

13

14

13

12

12

13

13

14

13

13

Other lifers

Number

30

14

11

8

10

12

11

27

38

53

44

Mean time served (years)

14

17

14

14

16

11

9

9

12

9

6

Median time served (years)

12

17

13

14

15

10

10

5

10

6

6

This table is taken from the Offender Management Caseload Statistics 2005 to be found at:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs06/hosb1806.pdf