Prisoners' Discharge Grants

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 12th June 2020.

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Photo of Lyn Brown Lyn Brown Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether he plans to increase the discharge grant to £80 for all prison leavers as a result of the increase in the grant for prisoners granted early release under the End of Custody Temporary Release scheme.

Photo of Lyn Brown Lyn Brown Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of the £46 discharge grant in enabling prison leavers to live in the community until other legal sources of income become available to them.

Photo of Lyn Brown Lyn Brown Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, on what basis the enhanced £80 discharge grant level was calculated for people released under the End of Custody Temporary Release scheme.

Photo of Lyn Brown Lyn Brown Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the purpose is of the discharge grant for (a) prison leavers released under the End of Custody Temporary Release scheme and (b) other prison leavers.

Photo of Lucy Frazer Lucy Frazer The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

Where prisoners have reached the end of the custodial element of their sentence, the Discharge Grant is paid to eligible prisoners upon their release from prison. The Discharge Grant is entirely separate from the Subsistence Grant, which is payable to those who are eligible for release under the End of Custody Temporary Release (ECTR) scheme only.

The purpose of both the Discharge Grant and the Subsistence Grant is to help prison leavers on release, so that they are supported while accessing other legal sources of income such as applying for benefits.

The higher rate of the Subsistence Grant is set at £80 to reflect the more limited amount of time prisoners have had to prepare for their release under the ECTR scheme and therefore the possibility that they would not have received the full amount of time and resources they would usually have had to prepare for release.

There are currently no plans to increase the Discharge Grant, but we will continue to keep this under review.

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