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Prison Sentences

Volume 506: debated on Wednesday 24 February 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many (a) UK, (b) Irish and (c) other European economic area nationals are serving a sentence of (i) mandatory life imprisonment, (ii) discretionary life imprisonment and (iii) imprisonment for public protection. (318048)

The following table shows the numbers of British, Irish and other EEA nationals serving mandatory life sentences, other life sentences (including discretionary life imprisonment) and indeterminate sentences for public protection (IPP) in prison establishments in England and Wales as at 30 June 2009. These are the latest available data.

British nationals

Irish nationals

Other EEA nationals

Mandatory lifers




Other lifers








The figures on mandatory and other lifers have been drawn from the prison IT system. The IPP figures were taken from the Public Protection Unit Database (PPUD) in the National Offender Management Service. The PPUD is a live database, updated on a regular basis. Data taken from the database on consecutive days will contain differences reflecting updates.

Both the prison IT system and the PPUD are administrative systems which, as with any large scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.