HC Deb 13 July 1999 vol 335 c109W
Lorna Fitzsimons

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to review the length of licence period a prisoner receives in relation to the length of sentence served. [90265]

Mr. Boateng

The Criminal Justice Act 1991 sets out the arrangements for the release on licence of determinate sentence prisoners. Under the Act, prisoners serving a sentence of 12 months or more but less than four years must be released on licence at the half-way point of the sentence. Those serving a determinate sentence of four years or more are eligible for release on licence at the half-way point of the sentence and in any event must be released on licence at the two thirds point. Prisoners serving a sentence of less than 12 months must be released unconditionally at the half-way point.

Under the home detention curfew arrangements introduced by the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, there is now provision for some determinate sentence prisoners to be released on licence up to a maximum of two months earlier than under the arrangements above. These provisions apply only to prisoners aged 18 or over who are serving a sentence of more than three months but less than four years. Prisoners released on this scheme are monitored by electronic tagging.

Finally, under section 58 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, where a court proposes to impose a custodial sentence for a sexual or violent offence, and considers that the normal licence period under the Criminal Justice Act 1991 would not be adequate, it may now pass an extended sentence on that offender. This means in effect that the offender will be subject to a longer period of supervision on licence.

The Government have no current plans to change these arrangements.

Forward to