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Life Imprisonment

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN HL4826, tabled on 9 December 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the minimum term served in custody for people given (1) a mandatory life sentence, (2) an automatic life sentence, and (3) a discretionary life sentence, in each of the last five years.

Answered on

23 December 2021

The Ministry of Justice holds data on the minimum period served in custody for the relevant sentences covering the period requested and this can be viewed in the attached table.

We are unable to provide separate data relating to those offenders who are given automatic and discretionary life sentences. The minimum period served in custody for both these groups of offenders is listed under ‘other lifers’.

Equivalent data for the average (mean and median) time served for those released from Mandatory Life sentences and ‘Other life’ sentences can be found in Table A3.3 which is also attached. For those released in 2020, prisoners released from Mandatory Life sentences served 17 years on average (mean) and 15 years (median).