Prisoner Release

Justice written question – answered on 2nd June 2008.

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Photo of Nick Herbert Nick Herbert Shadow Secretary of State (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prisoners have opted out of or failed to apply for (a) end of custody licence and (b) home detention curfew in each year since these schemes were initiated.

Photo of Jack Straw Jack Straw The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice

The following table shows the number of prisoners who, according to the Prison Service IT system, were potentially eligible for the home detention curfew (HDC) scheme and who opted out in each year since the scheme began on 28 January 1999:

Number who opted out
1999 1,500
2000 5,700
2001 7,800
2002 6,300
2003 5,100
2004 3,900
2005 3,500
2006 3,200

Data are not held as to why prisoners have opted out of being considered for HDC. However, among the most likely reasons are that the prisoner cannot provide details of a release address or will consider that that he/she is highly unlikely to pass the risk assessment and so does not bother to apply.

Information on the number of people who opt out of the end of custody licence scheme is not recorded.

These figures have been drawn from administrative IT systems, which, as with any large scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.

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