§ Mr. Stinchcombe
(1) To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners serving life sentences in England and Wales have had to wait(a) between three months and six months, (b) between six months and one year, (c) between one year and two years and (d) in excess of two years, for his Department to decide whether to accept a Parole Board recommendation of that prisoner's transfer to open conditions in each of the last five years. 
(2) what procedures have been put in place to enable a prisoner serving a life sentence in England and Wales who has been removed from open conditions to put his case against such removal to the Parole Board prior to his next formal Parole Board review. 
(3) how many prisoners serving life sentences in England and Wales have been returned to closed conditions for alleged misdemeanours occurring after a prior transfer to open conditions and/or release on licence, in each of the last five years; and what the nature of the alleged misdemeanour was in each such case. 1520W
(4) how many prisoners serving life sentences in England and Wales have had to wait (a) between three months and six months, (b) between six months and one year, (c) between one year and two years and (d) in excess of two years, for notification of the outcome of their Parole Board review in each of the last five years. 
(5) what (a) the average time and (b) the longest time which his Department has taken to decide upon Parole Board recommendations in respect of prisoners serving life sentences in England and Wales was in each of the last five years. 
§ Mr. Hilary Benn
The procedures for those life sentence prisoners removed from open conditions are set out in Chapter 4 of the "Lifer Manual (Prison Service Order 4700)". I have arranged for a copy of this to be placed in the Library.
Released life sentence prisoners are recalled to prison because they are deemed to present an unacceptable risk to public safety. In some cases this will involve criminal offences and other factors giving cause for concern of risk of harm either to specific individuals or the public at large. The numbers of lifers recalled in the past five years are as follows:
1 April 2001–31 March 2002 26 1 April 2000–31 March 2001 35 1 April 1999–31 March 2000 39 1 April 1998–31 March 1999 35 1 April 1997–31 March 1998 20
This represents around three per cent. of the total number of lifers under supervision in the community.
Her Majesty's Prison Service does not hold centrally information on the reasons for recall in each case. The other information requested is not held centrally in the form requested and could be provided only at disproportionate cost by examining the individual records of the prisoners concerned.