HC Deb 15 March 1994 vol 239 c617W
Mr. Redmond

To ask the Secretary of Stale for Northern Ireland if he will list by(a) Her Majesty's prison and (b) Her Majesty's remand prison the number of prisoners who applied for Christmas leave and the number of those who were granted Christmas leave; and if he will make a statement.

Sir John Wheeler

In December 1993 a total number of 446 convicted prisoners were released from the following prisons for Christmas home leave. Under the criteria for Christmas home leave, remand prisoners are not eligible to apply.

Prison Applications Applications granted
Belfast 33 32
Maze 116 111
Maghaberry 115 109
Magilligan 162 145
Young Offenders Centre 79 49

The Christmas home leave scheme and other release schemes play a key part in the Northern Ireland prison service's objectives by enabling prisoners to retain, and in some cases, re-establish family and community links in preparation for eventual release, and this has proved to be very successful. Of the 466 prisoners only two remain unlawfully at large. Both are medium-risk prisoners who had short periods left to serve.

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