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Prisoners: Alcohol

Volume 688: debated on Friday 26 January 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many prisoners who are released on temporary licence are subject to a condition that no alcohol will be consumed; and whether the risk assessment which underpins the use of release on temporary licence takes account of the role alcohol played in the offence for which the prisoner was sentenced.[HL1402]

All temporary release licences include a condition prohibiting the offender from consuming alcohol. In exceptional cases—for example, temporary release to a marriage or religious ceremony—this condition may be omitted from the licence depending on the assessment of risk. There is no centrally maintained record of cases where this licence condition has been omitted. Data on the number of releases on temporary licence are published in Home Office Statistical Bulletin Offender Management Caseload Statistics 2005.

Prisoners are not granted temporary release without first passing a rigorous risk assessment. This includes the consideration of the prisoner's criminal history and factors which may have contributed to the offending behaviour, such as any history of alcohol or drugs abuse.

Further details of the policy relating to temporary release are set out in Prison Service Order 6300 Release on Temporary Licence, a copy of which is available on the Prison Service website at