Prisoners' Release

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 22nd September 2020.

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Photo of David Lammy David Lammy Shadow Lord Chancellor and Shadow Secretary of State for Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many prisoners have been released in error in each of the last 10 years.

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

A release in error may occur from prison or from court. A prisoner is released in error if they are released earlier than their correct release date. They will be unlawfully at large until they are returned to custody, unless they are subsequently released correctly.

Releases in error are rare and the vast majority are returned to custody very quickly. We work closely with the police to recapture offenders at large and investigate each of these incidents thoroughly to see what lessons can be learned.

Please find below the number of prisoners released in error in England and Wales, since 2010. The data is the 12 months ending March 2010 to 12 months ending March 2020.

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

68

63

42

44

50

49

64

72

66

62

50

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