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Prisoners Release: Wales

Volume 475: debated on Tuesday 6 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prisoners released before the end of their sentence returned to an address in Wales in each of the last 12 months. (202370)

Under the Criminal Justice Act 1991, those sentenced to determinate sentences of four years or more are eligible for parole halfway through their sentence. If parole is not granted then release occurs at the two-thirds point of the sentence (or at a subsequent parole review if earlier).

The ‘Home Detention Curfew’ scheme (HDC) has been in operation since January 1999. Subject to meeting the eligibility criteria and passing a careful risk assessment, prisoners serving sentences of between three months and less than four years may be released up to four and a half months (135 days) early from prison subject to an electronically monitored curfew normally between 7 pm and 7 am.

The ‘End of Custody Licence’ (ECL) was introduced on 29 June 2007. Eligible prisoners serving between four weeks and less than four years may be released under licence from prison up to 18 days before their automatic release date.

The information requested could be produced only at disproportionate cost. The available information relates to the number of releases of prisoners on HDC, ECL and Parole from each of the four prisons in Wales: Cardiff, Parc, Swansea and Usk/Prescoed.

Figures showing the numbers of prisoners released on (i) Home Detention Curfew (2007) and (ii) End of Custody Licence (between 29 June and 31 December 2007) and (iii) releases on parole (2007) from prison establishments in Wales are in the following table:

All

Cardiff

Parc

Swansea

Usk/Prescoed

HDC releases from Welsh prison establishments, 2007

368

70

147

60

91

ECL releases from Welsh prison establishments, 29 June—31 December 2007

826

188

436

144

58

Parole releases from Welsh prison establishments, 2007

52

4

11

2

35

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.