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Prisoner Release

Volume 496: debated on Wednesday 9 September 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prisoners released on temporary licence reoffended in the last five years; and how many such prisoners were returned to custody. (289113)

Time spent on release on temporary licence affords prisoners the opportunity to find work, re-establish family ties, reintegrate into the community and ensure housing needs are met. For long-term prisoners these are essential components for successful resettlement. The most recent published statistics1 show that in the five year period between January 2004 to December 2008 there were 2,075,506 temporary release licences issued to prisoners. In this same period there were 1,592 failures of licence (0.1 per cent. failure rate), the majority of which were for minor infringements such as returning late to the prison. To provide the information requested on further offences committed whilst on temporary release would involve the manual examination of all 1,592 individual records which could be done only at disproportionate cost.

1 The attention of the House is drawn to the bulletin, Offender Management Caseload Statistics, 2008, which was published on 31 July 2009. Copies have been placed in the Libraries of this House and another place. I hope that this will provide additional context to the statistics supplied in the answer. Ministry of Justice Caseload Statistics, tables 9.6 and 9.11 available at:

http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/docs/offender-management-caseload-statistics-2008-2.pdf