To ask Her Majesty's Government in what circumstances Ministers may order the release of prisoners serving indefinite sentences for public protection without reference to the Parole Board; and how many prisoners have been so released during the last two years.
Prisoners serving indeterminate sentences, including those serving a sentence of imprisonment for public protection (IPP), may be considered for release on compassionate grounds, in exceptional circumstances, specifically where the prisoner is terminally ill, or bedbound or similarly incapacitated. Public protection is the priority, and a prisoner will not be released on compassionate grounds unless the risk of re-offending is minimal.
One prisoner, serving an IPP sentence, has been released on compassionate grounds during the last two years.
This figure has been drawn from administrative IT systems which, as with any large scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.