§ Mr. Nicholls
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many persons are serving a sentence of imprisonment; how many of such persons are serving sentences for offences of assault or violence; and how many such people who are serving sentences for nonviolent offences have previously been convicted of offences of assault or violence.
§ Mr. Mellor
On 31 May 1983 about 29,500 persons in prison department establishments in England and Wales were serving sentences of imprisonment, of whom about 5,500 were serving sentences for offences of violence against the person. Information on the types of offence of which prisoners have been convicted previously could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
§ Mr. Nicholls
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners are expected to be released in the current year with one third remission of sentence for good behaviour; and how many more prisoners would be released if remission for good behaviour were to be increased from one third to one half of the total sentence.
§ Mr. Hurd
I regret that the information requested is not available; many of those who will be released in 198.3 have not yet been sentenced. The number of prisoners serving determinate sentences of imprisonment who were released on licence or on completion of sentence in 1982 was about 80,000. An estimate of the number of additional prisoners who would have been released in 1982 if remission had been increased to a half in 1982 could be produced only at disproportionate cost, because the effect of a change in remission cannot be readily derived from those records of individual prisoners which are held centrally. However, an increase in remission would increase discharges for only a limited period until the new arrangements had settled down; the continuing effect would be on the size of the prison population.