Prisoners' Release: Coronavirus

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 27th May 2020.

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Photo of Lord Bradley Lord Bradley Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many (1) male, and (2) female, prisoners have been released from prison due to COVID-19 under (a) the early release scheme, and (b) the compassionate release scheme, in each week since 23 March.

Photo of Lord Keen of Elie Lord Keen of Elie The Advocate-General for Scotland, Lords Spokesperson (Ministry of Justice)

On 31 March, we announced that pregnant women and prisoners with their babies in custody will be considered for Release on Temporary Licence (ROTL) on compassionate grounds during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prisoners identified as ‘extremely vulnerable’ as defined in the NHS guidelines will also merit consideration for ROTL on compassionate grounds during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On 4 April, we announced the End of Custody Temporary Release scheme. This scheme enables risk-assessed prisoners, who are within two months of their release date, to be temporarily released from custody, as part of the national approach to managing public services during this challenging period.

Alongside the careful release of low-risk offenders, we are taking steps to temporarily expand the prison estate, shield the most vulnerable, and reduce the number of prisoners on remand. This is to strike a balance between limiting the spread of COVID-19 in jails while ensuring the public is protected.

The tables below provide the number of prisoners released from prison under the End of Custody Temporary Release scheme and the number of prisoners released on temporary licence on compassionate grounds. The data in these tables is correct as of Friday 15 May.

W/C

Compassionate release- Male

End of Custody Temporary Release- Male

Total

w/c Mon 30 Mar

0

0

0

w/c Mon 06 Apr

0

1

1

w/c Mon 13 Apr

0

9

9

w/c Mon 20 Apr

0

3

3

w/c Mon 27 Apr

0

15

15

w/c Mon 04 May

5

21

26

w/c Mon 11 May

0

12

12

Grand Total

5

61

66

W/C

Compassionate Release- Female

End of Custody Temporary Release-Female

Total

w/c Mon 30 Mar

3

0

3

w/c Mon 06 Apr

11

0

11

w/c Mon 13 Apr

4

1

5

w/c Mon 20 Apr

3

1

4

w/c Mon 27 Apr

0

0

0

w/c Mon 04 May

0

1

1

w/c Mon 11 May

0

2

2

Grand Total

21

5

26

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