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Life Imprisonment: Prisoners' Release

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN HL845, tabled on 8 June 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people serving a life sentence were released at their first eligible parole date in each year since 2000.

Answered on

22 June 2021

The information needed to provide a comprehensive answer to each question could be provided only at disproportionate cost as central data was not stored in a way that it can be filtered by the required fields to obtain the information, until 2009. As a result, the tables below provide data for each year from 2009.

The Government is committed to the protection of the public and the effective management of offenders. By law, prisoners serving indeterminate sentences who have completed their tariff will be released only when the independent Parole Board concludes that the risk they present to the public is capable of being safely managed in the community under probation supervision.

The total number of prisoners serving a life sentence who were released at their first eligible parole date in each year since 2009, is shown in the following table:

Outcome year

Count of release decisions at first eligible parole date

2009

81

2010

86

2011

82

2012

86

2013

101

2014

71

2015

76

2016

96

2017

121

2018

127

2019

115

2020

122

The total number of prisoners serving a sentence of imprisonment for public protection who were released at their first eligible parole date in each year since 2009, is shown in the following table:

Outcome year

Count of release decisions at first eligible parole date

2009

45

2010

37

2011

77

2012

72

2013

81

2014

58

2015

61

2016

69

2017

66

2018

59

2019

30

2020

25

Notes for all tables:

1. These figures have been drawn from the Public Protection Unit Database and Prison-NOMIS held by Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service. As with any large scale recording systems, the figures are subject to possible errors with data migration and processing.

2. The figures in these tables do not include recalled indeterminate-sentence prisoners.

Statistics on the indeterminate sentence population in prisons are routinely published as part of the Quarterly Offender Management Statistics on Gov.uk - https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/offender-management-statistics-quarterly