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Bail Accommodation and Support Service

Volume 497: debated on Monday 12 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prisoners have been released early into bail hostels since 1997; and how many such prisoners have subsequently absconded from bail hostels. (290105)

For the purposes of this answer, we are interpreting "released early" as "released from prison on licence in accordance with the law".

Data about offenders released into approved premises (formerly known as bail/probation hostels) have been collected centrally only since April 2004, from information supplied by individual approved premises. We estimate that 25,935 offenders released on licence were admitted into APs between April 2004 and March 2009.

Figures about residents who have absconded from an approved premises and are still at large on the final day of each month have been collected only since April 2006, with additional figures collected since April 2008 for those residents who have absconded and are known to have been recalled to prison during the month. Neither of these figures is broken down by resident type, and so will include residents who are on bail or serving a community sentence. In addition, our figures do not separately record absconded residents who are arrested at a later date, so there may be some double counting.

Between April 2006 and March 2009, a total of 1,251 residents absconded and were believed still to be at large at the end of the month in question. In addition, between April 2008 and March 2009 1,023 residents absconded and were recalled to prison.