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Prisoners Release

Volume 497: debated on Tuesday 13 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners have been granted early release in the last 12 months; and how many such persons had been convicted of violent offences. (290103)

I have been asked to reply.

Eligible prisoners may be released into the community earlier than the halfway point of their sentence under the home detention curfew (HDC) or end of custody licence (ECL) schemes.

I refer the hon. Member 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. In addition, information on the end of custody licence scheme is published on a monthly basis on the Ministry of Justice website. The latest report relates to the position at the end of July 2009 and can be found at the following website:

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

I hope that this will provide additional context to the statistics supplied in the answer.

Between September 2008 and August 2009, there were 30,719 prisoners released from all prison establishments in England and Wales under the end of custody licence scheme, of which 6,300 were originally detained for an offence of violence against the person. Those convicted of the most serious violent offences (which includes, for example, all terrorism legislation offences, manslaughter, wounding with intent to commit grievous bodily harm and cruelty to children) are not eligible for release on ECL.

During 2008, there were 11,721 prisoners released from all prison establishments in England and Wales under the home detention curfew scheme, of which 2,160 were originally detained for offences of violence against the person. This information can be found in table 9.16 of the Offender Management Caseload Statistics at the following website:

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

The figures quoted above 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.