Clause 10 - Recall and further release of offenders

Part of Offender Rehabilitation Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 8:55 am on 3 December 2013.

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Photo of Jeremy Wright Jeremy Wright The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice 8:55, 3 December 2013

I beg to move amendment 15, in clause 10, page 9, line 7, at end insert—

‘() in subsection (4), for “that period” substitute “the automatic release period”,’.

It is a pleasure to see you back in the Chair this morning, Ms Dorries, and I welcome all members of the Committee back for the last day of our deliberations. Amendment 15 is a minor and technical amendment that makes a small clarification to clause 10. Among other things, it amends the default period to be served by offenders who, while on licence, are recalled and who are considered by the Secretary of State to be suitable for release after a fixed term rather than being kept in prison until the end of the sentence.

Clause 10 provides that the fixed term recall period for offenders serving a sentence of less than 12 months will be 14 days, rather than 28 days as it currently is for offenders serving longer sentences. Amendment 15 makes a minor clarification to a provision in section 255A of the Criminal Justice Act 2003, which provides that an offender is a person suitable for release after recall for a fixed term, only if the Secretary of State is satisfied that the person will not present a risk of serious harm to members of the public if released after a fixed term.

The amendment picks up a missed consequential point, which is needed because the length of the fixed term is no longer the same regardless of the length of sentence. As I have said, the fixed term recall period will be 14 days for sentences of less than 12 months and 28 days, as now, for longer sentences. Amendment 15 does not alter the substance of the provision and I hope the Committee can agree to it.