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Reoffenders: Sentencing

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 4 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what proportion of people released on (a) probation and (b) licence who subsequently committed a further crime were returned to prison in each of the last three years. (253336)

The following table sets out the number of offenders who were released on licence and who were subsequently recalled to custody, having been charged with committing a further offence in the period of their licence in the year 2007-08 and between April and December 2008, as notified to the National Offender Management Service. Accurate data on the reasons for recalling determinate prisoners who were on licence were not held centrally prior to April 2007 and to compile such data would incur disproportionate cost.

Offenders recalled for committing further offences are normally recalled at the point at which the charge is laid. Inevitably therefore, some of the cases listed would have either resulted in acquittal or would not have proceeded to trial, as the charges were subsequently withdrawn.

Furthermore, there will have been prisoners released on licence and who were charged with offences after their licence period had expired. They would not have been liable to recall.

The proportion of offenders recalled for committing further offences cannot be expressed as a proportion of the number of releases, as offenders may be recalled at any point during a licence and on more than one occasion, particularly with respect to licences that can be several years in duration.

Offenders recalled for further charges

April 2007 to March 2008


April 2008 to December 2008


1 These figures exclude all those recalled from early custody licence. It also excludes those recalled from home detention curfew who had a sentence of less than 12 months as they would not have been under probation supervision.