Offenders serving determinate sentences do not serve the sentence in full in custody but are released at the automatic release date. In accordance with the provisions of Chapter 6 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (CJA 2003) and the previous provisions of the Criminal Justice Act 1991 (now contained in Schedule 20B to the CJA 2003). The automatic release date is generally at the half way point of the sentence. For certain extended sentences (comprising a custodial period and an extended licence period) the automatic release date is at the two thirds point of the custodial period. Once released, offenders continue to serve the sentence on licence in the community.
Those serving indeterminate sentences who are not released by the Parole Board and those given whole life orders will serve the sentence in full.
There are terms of imprisonment for civil committals where there is no provision for early release. In such cases, release is unconditional once the term has been served in full.