Political News Updates

16.06.2014

Prisoners' Release

Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many prisoners released on temporary licence in (a) 2010, (b) 2011, (c) 2012 and (d) 2013 were serving custodial sentences for serious violent and sexual assaults; [199514]

(2) of what offences had prisoners released on temporary licence in each of the last four years been convicted. [199532]

Jeremy Wright: We commissioned a fundamental review of release on temporary licence (ROTL) policy and practice last year and, in March, announced a package of measures to ensure that the public was properly protected. We have brought forward some of those measures so that they begin to take effect immediately; particularly with more serious offenders, where the review concluded that an enhanced risk assessment approach should be taken. These offenders must have their release agreed by the governor or deputy and the board considering release must have sight of a psychologist’s case review report.

Temporary licence is an important tool in preparing prisoners for release from prison but we must make sure it is done safely and that the public can feel confident in the risk assessment and monitoring arrangements.

Data in relation to the main offence types for offenders released on temporary licence is recorded in the following categories:

Violence against the person
Sexual offences
Robbery
Burglary
Theft and handling
Fraud and forgery
Drug offences
Motoring offences
Other offences
Offence not recorded

It is therefore not possible to determine the number of offenders serving custodial sentences for serious violent and sexual assaults, who were released on temporary licence, without incurring disproportionate cost.

Offenders convicted of offences within each of these categories, with the exception of motor offences, were released on temporary licence in each year between 2011 and 2013. Data for 2010 cannot be provided due to a database migration.

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what the daily average (a) number and (b) proportion is of prisoners serving custodial sentences who are out of prison on temporary licence in each county; [199724]

(2) what the daily average (a) number and (b) proportion is of prisoners serving custodial sentences who are out of prison on temporary licence from category (i) A, (ii) B, (iii) C and (iv) D prisons; [199725]

(3) what the daily average (a) number and (b) proportion is of (i) male and (ii) female prisoners serving custodial sentences who are out of prison on temporary licence. [199726]

Jeremy Wright: Temporary release can be a valuable tool in the resettlement of prisoners in the community but it must never take place at the expense of public safety. We conducted a fundamental review of the policy and practice of rerelease on temporary licence (ROTL) after serious failures last year. We are introducing a system that enhances the assessment of serious offenders and restricts access to ROTL to cases where there is a clear, legitimate reason for the release. We have already introduced some of these changes and have additionally introduced a restriction on prisoners transferring to open conditions and having ROTL if they have previously absconded from open prisons; or if they have failed to return or reoffended while released on temporary licence.

It has not been possible to provide an answer in the time specified, I will write to my hon. Friend with an answer as soon as possible.