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Early Release Scheme

Volume 526: debated on Tuesday 29 March 2011

13. How many prisoners convicted of violent offences and released under the early release scheme between 2007 and 2010 have since been returned to prison. (49333)

Over 80,000 prisoners were released under the end of custody licence scheme. Over 16,000 of these were violent offenders, of whom 494 were recalled to custody during the ECL period. It is not possible to calculate how many were recalled or imprisoned for a new offence after the ECL period.

I thank the Minister for his answer. Will he inform me of his plans to avoid a repetition of the shambolic and incoherent justice policy that saw a mass early release of many prisoners, many of whom went on to commit new offences and were returned to jail?

I can reassure my hon. Friend that we will do everything possible to avoid a return to the scheme that was cynically stopped by the previous Government just before the last election, but not before they had released over 80,000 prisoners. There were 1,600 alleged offences committed by the prisoners who were released early, including six serious further offences and one murder. The Opposition should certainly not be lecturing us on that area.