HC Deb 22 January 1980 vol 977 c106W
Mr. Dewar

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the average term served at release on licence by prisoners sentenced to life imprisonment who were released in each of the last five years in England and Wales.

Mr. Brittan

The average periods of detention, calculated from the date on which each prisoner was first remanded in custody were as follows:

Average period of detention
Year Years Months
1975 10 7
1976 10 4
1977 9 10
1978 9 9
1979 9 8

The figures include persons detained during Her Majesty's pleasure under section 53(1) of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 or for life under section 53(2) of that Act but not persons who had been previously released on licence and subsequently recalled to prison. The average periods of detention provide no indication of the time for which any individual prisoner is likely to be detained, since the figures do not show the range of such periods—which have varied during the years to which the question relates from two years seven months in one case to over 20 years in another.