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Prisoners Release

Volume 495: debated on Monday 6 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people imprisoned for (a) domestic violence and (b) sexual violence offences have been released under the end of custody licence scheme; and how many of each category have committed similar offences since their release. (283605)

Domestic violence is not a specific offence. Offenders who commit domestic violence are charged with one of the offences of assault. Prisoners serving a sentence for a serious violent offence are ineligible for release on the end of custody licence (ECL). It would not be possible to identify the number of prisoners convicted of domestic violence related offences without examining individual case files and therefore breaching cost limits.

Sexual violence is not a specific offence. Prisoners who are subject to the registration requirements of the Sex Offenders Act 1997/Sexual Offences Act 2003 are ineligible for release on ECL.

The number of releases and recalls on end of custody licence (ECL) has been published monthly since July 2007 on the Ministry of Justice website:

http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/endofcustodylicence.htm

The most recent data was published on 30 June 2009. The number of releases by all offence groups since the scheme began is in the following table:

ECL releases by offence group

29 June 2007 to 31 May 2009

Violence against the person

11,696

Sexual offences

9

Robbery

1,452

Burglary

5,465

Theft and handling

13,450

Fraud and forgery

1,204

Drug offences

2,583

Motoring offences

6,739

Other offences

16,156

Offence not recorded

1,027

Of the nine prisoners released on ECL having served a sentence for a sexual offence, six were eligible for release whilst the other three were released in error. None of these nine prisoners re-offended while on the period of ECL.

For all other prisoners released on ECL, it is not possible to establish how many of each category has committed similar offences since their release without checking individual prisoner and police records. This would exceed cost limits.

The monthly ECL report shows figures for recalls by reason. Of the 2,022 prisoners recalled, 874 have been recalled for alleged re-offending.

More generally, figures on re-offending are published annually on the Ministry of Justice website:

http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/reoffendingof adults.htm

http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/reoffending juveniles.htm

http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications//local-adult-reoffending. 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.