When will a prisoner be released?

When will a prisoner be released?

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A number of things can affect the length of time someone will spend in prison. This includes the date the offence was committed, the length of the sentence, whether a Home Detention Curfew (HDC) is granted and whether any extra days are added as the consequence of positive adjudications. However, for the purposes of calculating a prison sentence initially, only the first two points are taken into consideration. This relates to determinate sentences only.

Table 1: Offence committed after 4 April 2005

Length of sentence Key date Type of release Licence period etc.
Under   12 months Half-way   point Automatic   Unconditional Release No licence. (See LASPOA 2012 s 111 and CJA 2003 s 243A)
12   months + Half-way   point Automatic Conditional Release ‘On   licence’ until expiry of sentence (See CJA 2003 s 244)
IPP/DPP/EPP Tariff   expiry date as set by the court Eligible   for release. See   the IPP explanation sheet.

Table 2: Offence committed prior to 4 April 2005

Length of sentence Key date Type of release Licence period etc.
12   months – 4 years Half-way   point Automatic   Conditional Release ‘On   licence’ until ¾ of sentence complete.From   ¾ to the expiry of the sentence, they are ‘at risk’.
4   years + Half-way   point(Parole   Eligibility Date) Discretionary   release ‘On   licence’ until ¾ of sentence complete.

On licence This means that the person will be subject to regular meetings with an officer from the Probation Service. There may also be certain other conditions attached to the licence which can include living at a specified address or getting help with addressing their offending behaviour. If a person released on licence breaches any of their conditions then they can be returned to custody at the discretion of the Home Office.

See also the Release on Licence fact sheet.

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Lyndon is the General Editor of Current Sentencing Practice and the Criminal Appeal Reports (Sentencing)