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Life Imprisonment

Volume 495: debated on Friday 3 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what average period of imprisonment had been served by prisoners sentenced to life imprisonment who were released in (a) 2007 and (b) 2008. (279263)

The numbers of life sentenced prisoners released in 2007 along with average period spent in custody for those on first release is shown in the following table.


Total released


Mandatory lifers



Average time served (years)


Other lifers



Average time served (years)


These figures are taken from the “Offender Management Caseload Statistics 2007” published by Offender Management and Sentencing Analytical Services, Ministry of Justice. This bulletin is available in the Library of the House and is available at:

The 2008 figure will be published in Offender Management Caseload Statistics 2008 at the end of July 2009. The publication of this bulletin has been pre-announced on the Ministry of Justice and United Kingdom Statistics Authority websites.