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Homicide: Prisoners Release

Volume 498: debated on Wednesday 28 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people convicted of murder have been released from prison in each of the last 10 years; what their original prison sentence was in each case; how much time in prison each served; and if he will make a statement. (295346)

The Courts must impose a mandatory life sentence on any individual convicted of murder. This is the only sentence available for such a conviction.

The following table gives the numbers of such prisoners first released in each of the last 10 years from all prison establishments in England and Wales, and the amount of time served at point of release. It is clear there are fewer offenders serving longer sentences.

Year of first release

Number of mandatory lifers

Average time served (years)

1999

110

13

2000

101

13

2001

111

13

2002

117

14

2003

185

15

2004

152

14

2005

156

14

2006

100

14

2007

90

16

2008

98

16

This table is taken from table 9.5 in “Offender Management Caseload Statistics 2008”, a copy of which has been placed in the House of Commons Library and which can also be found at the following website:

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