Figures relating to the lengths of tariffs on prisoners serving indeterminate sentences in all prison establishments in England and Wales as at the end of March 2006 can be found in the following table:
Months Total 1-18 147 19-36 326 37-48 107 49-60 46 61-120 53 121+ 4 Not recorded 24 Total 706
This table is taken from table 11.2 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, which, as with any large scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.
(2) how many prisoners on indeterminate sentences for public protection have been released since 2004; and how many had served (a) less than one year, (b) between one and two years, (c) between two and three years and (d) more than three years;
(3) how many prisoners serving indeterminate sentences for public protection released on licence have (a) been returned to prison and (b) been convicted for offences while on licence.
No prisoner serving an indeterminate sentence may be considered for release until they have completed their tariff—that is, the period of imprisonment considered necessary to meet the requirements of retribution and deterrence. The Parole Board may direct a tariff-expired indeterminate sentence prisoner's release only if it is satisfied that it is no longer necessary for the protection of the public that the prisoner should be confined.
As at 16 July 2007, seven prisoners serving indeterminate sentences of imprisonment for public protection (IPP) have been released on the direction of the Parole Board. Six of these offenders were released after the tariff period had expired. In each of these cases, the Parole Board hearing to assess the offender’s risk of harm took place after the relevant tariff expiry date. In the seventh case, the prisoner was released before tariff-expiry on compassionate grounds due to ill health and has since died.
Two of the six offenders had their sentences quashed following their release. Of the remaining four, none has been recalled to custody or been convicted of any further offences.
The following table shows the time served in custody before release in the six cases referred to above:
Time served Number of cases Less than 1 year 2 1-2 years 4 2-3 years 0 More than 3 years 0
Number of cases
Less than 1 year
More than 3 years