Life Imprisonment

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 26th July 2022.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lord Bradley Lord Bradley Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the (1) lower quartile, (2) median, (3) upper quartile, and (4) interquartile range, of tariff lengths for people who received a life sentence in each year since 2002.

Photo of Lord Bradley Lord Bradley Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the (1) lower quartile, (2) median, (3) upper quartile, and (4) interquartile range, of the number of months spent in custody by life sentence prisoners who were released in each year since 2002.

Photo of Lord Bradley Lord Bradley Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the (1) lower quartile, (2) median, (3) upper quartile, and (4) interquartile range, of the age of people serving a life sentence at the point of release in each year since 2002.

Photo of Lord Bradley Lord Bradley Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the (1) mean, and (2) median, number of months spent in custody beyond tariff for life sentence prisoners at the point of release in each year since 2002.

Photo of Lord Bradley Lord Bradley Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what proportion of people serving a life sentence were released at their first Parole Board hearing in each year since 2002.

Photo of Lord Bradley Lord Bradley Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people were serving an Imprisonment for Public Protection sentence with a tariff of 10 years or more in each year, by ethnicity.

Photo of Lord Bellamy Lord Bellamy The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

By law, prisoners serving life and other indeterminate sentences must complete their tariff in custody and thereafter be released only when the Parole Board concludes that it is no longer necessary for the protection of the public for them to remain confined to custody. The Government is committed to supporting prisoners to reduce their risk and so progress towards safe release, but the priority is always to protect the public.

HL1672

The following table shows the (1) lower quartile, (2) median, (3) upper quartile, and (4) interquartile range, of tariff lengths in years for prisoners who received a life sentence in each year since 2002.

Year of Sentence

Lower Quartile

Median

Upper Quartile

Interquartile Range

2002

4

9

13

9

2003

4

9

13

9

2004

5

11

14

9

2005

5

11

15

10

2006

7

12

18

11

2007

10

13

17

7

2008

11

14

20

9

2009

12

15

19

7

2010

13

17

22

9

2011

14

17

21

7

2012

14

18

24

10

2013

13

17

23

10

2014

11

17

23

12

2015

11

17

23

12

2016

12

17

22

10

2017

10

17

22

12

2018

13

18

23

10

2019

14

18

23

9

2020

14

19

24

10

2021

15

19

24

9

HL1673

The following table shows the (1) lower quartile, (2) median, (3) upper quartile, and (4) interquartile range, of the number of months spent in custody by life sentence prisoners who were released in each year since 2002.

Year of Sentence

Lower Quartile

Median

Upper Quartile

Interquartile Range

2010

133

170

240

107

2011

119

157

213

94

2012

129

166

240

111

2013

136

174

243

107

2014

135

171

236

101

2015

144

176

224

81

2016

149

177

229

80

2017

151

180

247

96

2018

158

191

235

77

2019

172

200

268

96

2020

164

191

240

76

2021

165

205

263

98

Notes for above figures: Months spent in custody is calculated from date of sentence to release date. It does not take into consideration time spent in custody before sentence.

HL1674

The following table shows the (1) lower quartile, (2) median, (3) upper quartile, and (4) interquartile range, of the age of prisoners serving a life sentence at the point of release in each year since 2002.

Year of Sentence

Lower Quartile

Median

Upper Quartile

Interquartile Range

2010

37

45

53

16

2011

34

42

50

16

2012

38

45

53

15

2013

38

46

55

17

2014

39

47

54

15

2015

38

46

54

16

2016

40

47

54

14

2017

39

47

56

17

2018

40

49

57

17

2019

42

51

58

16

2020

39

48

57

18

2021

39

49

57

18

Notes for above figures: Age at time of release does not reflect how long the offender had been in custody.

HL1675

The following table shows the (1) mean, and (2) median, number of months spent in custody beyond tariff for life sentence prisoners at the point of release in each year since 2002.

Year of Sentence

Average

Median

2010

67

47

2011

69

51

2012

81

60

2013

80

66

2014

83

65

2015

76

64

2016

79

63

2017

81

55

2018

90

69

2019

96

83

2020

79

44

2021

83

46

HL1676

The following table shows the proportion of prisoners serving a life sentence who were released at their first Parole Board hearing in each year since 2002.

Knockback

Open

Release

Hearing Start Year

%

%

%

2010

28

44

28

2011

31

37

32

2012

18

39

43

2013

17

38

45

2014

26

28

47

2015

35

20

44

2016

36

20

44

2017

25

27

47

2018

32

22

46

2019

37

18

45

2020

28

19

52

2021

38

19

43

HL1677

The following table shows the number of 'unreleased IPP prisoners with a tariff length of 10 years or more, by ethnicity group, as at 30 June 2015 to 30 June 2021.

30/06/15

30/06/16

30/06/17

30/06/18

30/06/19

30/06/20

30/06/21

Total

94

92

90

87

89

84

76

Asian/ Asian British

6

6

5

5

5

6

6

Black/ African/ Caribbean/ Black British

26

26

25

25

26

26

22

Mixed/ Multiple ethnic groups

5

5

5

5

5

4

3

White

57

55

55

52

53

48

45

Notes for above figures: Figures exclude prisoners recalled from an IPP sentence

Notes for all figures in the above tables:

  1. Due to rounding, the interquartile range may not equal the difference between the third and first quartiles.

  1. Tariff length is the time between date of sentence and tariff expiry date.

  1. Figures do not include whole-life orders.

  1. Numbers are subject to revision as more data become available.

  1. The figures in these tables have been drawn from administrative IT systems which, as with any large scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing. Data has been supplied for as many of the requested years as it is possible to provide within cost limits; earlier years may not be available due to changes in recording over time.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes0 people think so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.