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Prisoners Release

Volume 470: debated on Wednesday 23 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many convicted prisoners have been released early as a result of prison overcrowding. (180115)

On 19 June 2007 my noble Friend Lord Falconer of Thoroton the then Lord Chancellor announced the introduction of a presumption in favour of release from custody on licence for prisoners serving between four weeks and four years for the final 18 days of their sentence subject to meeting strict eligibility criteria and providing a release address.

Between 29 June when the scheme began and 30 November 2007 (latest available figures) about 13,750 prisoners were released on ECL.

The total number of releases by offence group, sentence length, age, gender, ethnicity and prison establishment have been published on the Ministry of Justice website for the first week of the scheme, the remainder of July, and every subsequent month since then.

The monthly published figures can be found on separate links under the following main link: http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/endofcustodylicence.htm

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.