Allocation to open prison is never automatic. Prisoners serving sentences for violent or other serious offences may be allocated to open prison towards the end of their sentence but only where they have successfully completed relevant offender behaviour work and are assessed as a low risk. Prisoners serving a determinate sentence must be within 2 years of release before they can be considered for allocation to an open prison, and those serving indeterminate sentences will only be transferred following a recommendation from the Parole Board. A prisoner in open conditions can be returned to the closed estate immediately should new risks be identified. Following a comprehensive review, the Government has tightened the eligibility for open prisons. All those located in open conditions have been rigorously risk assessed and categorised as being of low risk to the public.
The table below shows the specific offences for which offenders in open had been sentenced, within the category of ‘violence against the person’, as at 31 March 2015.
INFLICT GRIEVOUS BODILY HARM
WOUNDING (INFLICTING GBH)
ASSAULT OCCASIONING ABH
POSSESSION OF FIREARM WITH INTENT. ENDANGER LIFE
OTHER VIOLENCE OFFENCES
MAKING THREATS TO KILL
POSS FIREARM WI FEAR OF VIOLENCE (SECTION 16A)
CRUELTY TO OR NEGLECT OF CHILDREN
DEATH BY CARELESS DRIVING/DRINK DRUGS (SECTION 3A)
CARRYING A FIREARM WITH CRIM INTENT (SECTION 18)
ASSAULT OCCASIONING ABH (WHERE VICTIM IS A CHILD)
ATTEMPT TO CHOKE, SUFFOCATE OR STRANGLE
INTIMIDATION OF WITNESS
MALICIOUS WOUNDING (SECTION 20)