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Prisoners’ Release

Volume 465: debated on Thursday 25 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what action is taken against prisoners who remain unlawfully at large until their scheduled release date after release on the End of Custody Licence Scheme; (160137)

(2) how many prisoners recalled to prison after release on the End of Custody Licence Scheme remained unlawfully at large until their scheduled release date.

Offenders who breach any condition of the End of Custody Licence (ECL) are liable to be recalled, and a revocation order revoking their licence will be issued. From the revocation issue date, until they are arrested and returned to custody, the offender remains unlawfully at large (UAL). This period of absence is not treated as part of the sentence served unless the Secretary of State directs that it should be. Therefore, when the prisoner is returned to custody, the sentence must continue to be served including any custodial days outstanding.

All offenders whose End of Custody Licence is revoked are notified to the police local to the area to which the offender has been released. The police are committed to arresting and returning offenders to custody as quickly as possible.

Data on ECL, including prisoners recalled, are published at the end of each month on the Ministry of Justice website. The August report, published on 28 September, states that of the 205 offenders notified to NOMS as recalled between 29 June and the end of August, 48 offenders had not been returned to custody by end of 21 September, and all of those have passed their scheduled release date.

Information on the number of recalled offenders who have returned to custody and those who have not, as notified to NOMS, is reported monthly on the Ministry of Justice publications website.