HC Deb 25 June 1986 vol 100 cc188-9W
Mr. Lyell

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) of prisoners serving sentences eligible for parole in each of the years 1983, 1984 and 1985, what proportion of what percentage served (a) less than 25 per cent., (b) less than 30 per cent., (c) less than 40 per cent., (d) less than 50 per cent., (e) less than 60 per cent. and (f) less than two thirds of their sentence;

(2) what proportion of prisoners sentenced were eligible for parole in each of the years 1983, 1984 and 1985.

Mr. Mellor

[pursuant to my reply, 11 June 1986, c. 17]: The available information is as follows, showing separately the two halves of 1984 to reflect the reduction from 30 June 1984 in the minimum qualifying period for parole from 12 to six months. Prisoners do not serve less than one third of their sentence unless they successfully appeal, die in custody or are transferred to a psychiatric hospital or to a prison outside England and Wales. Time served owing to loss of remission is not included but would increase the overall proportion of sentence served by around 1 per cent. Further information on the periods of licence recommended and on the lengths of sentences being served is given annually on the report of the Parole Board (Table 3, Appendix 4 of the latest issue, for 1985, HMSO June 1986).

Proportion of sentence served by prisoners eligible for parole by year of discharge
England and Wales percentages
Proportion of sentence served 1983 1984 1984 1985
Jan-June July-Dec
Less than 25 per cent. 1 * * *
25 but less than 30 per cent. * * * *
30 but less than 40 per cent. 14 13 21 23
40 but less than 50 per cent. 21 20 25 22
50 but less than 60 per cent. 28 30 30 26
60 per cent. but less than two thirds 37 37 23 28
* Less than 0.5 per cent.

In 1983 and the first half of 1984, about one tenth of prisoners discharged had been eligible for parole. In the second half of 1984 and in 1985 the proportion was about a quarter.