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Prison Sentences

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN HL3923, tabled on 10 November 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many additional months beyond tariff people serving an indeterminate sentence are held on average.

Answered on

24 November 2021

The number of months which prisoners who are serving an indeterminate sentence were held on average beyond tariff, as at 30 September 2021, in England and Wales, is shown as follows:

Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) prisoners who are post-tariff:

  • 98 months post-tariff (mean)
  • 101 months post-tariff (median)

Life sentenced prisoners who are post-tariff:

  • 110 months post-tariff (mean)
  • 96 months post-tariff (median)


  1. Tariff length is the time between date of sentence and tariff expiry date and takes into account any time served on remand.
  2. This data does not include those who have been recalled.
  3. The IPP sentence was abolished in late 2012 by the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders (LASPO) Act. This means that the average number of months will continue to increase as offenders can no longer receive this sentence. The figures for life sentenced prisoners will be lower as offenders continue to receive this type of sentence which will reduce the average figure.

Data sources and quality

The figures in this table 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.

Source: Public Protection Unit Database (PPUD)

Statistics on the tariff length of the indeterminate prison population are routinely published as part of the quarterly Offender Management Statistics on -