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Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prisoners have been released having served no more than a quarter of their sentence for offences of each type in each of the last three years. 
Mr. Hanson: Prisoners may only be released into the community earlier than the half way point of their sentence under either the home detention curfew scheme (HDC) or the end of custody licence scheme (ECL).
The home detention curfew scheme enables suitable prisoners to be released subject to an electronically monitored curfew up to 135 days earlier than the half way point of their sentence. No prisoners are released on HDC unless they have served at least one quarter of their sentence subject to a minimum of 30 days in custody.
Under the end of custody licence scheme eligible prisoners may be released up to 18 days earlier than the half way point of their sentence subject to serving a minimum of seven days in custody after sentence. Some prisoners serving very short sentences of between 28 days and 72 days may therefore be released on licence under the ECL scheme on or before they have served one quarter of their sentence if they meet the eligibility criteria.
The following tables show the number of HDC and ECL releases by offence group. The HDC figures are published annually in Offender Management Caseload Statistics (most recently for 2007) and information on ECL releases is published monthly. All publications are available on the Ministry of Justice website at:
It is not possible to provide the specific information requested on numbers of prisoners released after serving no more than a quarter of their sentence in custody without manual checking of individual records at disproportionate cost.
|Home detention curfew release by offence group( 1) , 2005-07, England and Wales|
|Population in sentence length band||Released||Release rate (%)||Population in sentence length band||Released||Release rate (%)||Population in sentence length band||Released||Release rate (%)|
|(1) Offence recorded on prison IT system. Investigations suggest that around 5 per cent. of offence types recorded on this system do not relate to the offence they were released on HDC for but relate to offences committed after release from prison and before the licence expiry date for their sentence.|
(2) Includes the offence of bigamy.
|ECL releases by offence groupDecember 2008 and cumulative totals|
|Releases in December 2008||Year to date||2007|
|Male||Female||Total||1 January to 31 December 2008||29 June to 31 December 2007|
|(1) Excludes serious violent offences such as murder, manslaughter, wounding with intent to commit grievous bodily harm, possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life, child cruelty and serious explosives offences. A full list of exclusions can be found in Prison Service Instruction 42/2007 (which consolidates and replaces PSI 27/2007).|
Data Sources and Quality: These figures 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. See Data Sources and Quality section of report for more information.
Taken from Table 1 in OMCS ECL releases and recalls December 2008. England and Wales
Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prisoners have been released on end-of-custody licence since 29 June 2007; how many of those were foreign nationals; and how many such prisoners have re-offended while on licence. 
Mr. Straw: Between 29 June 2007 and 31 December 2008, the latest date for which information is available, there were 47,515 prisoners released under the end of custody licence scheme. Those foreign national prisoners who either have no lawful basis upon which to remain in the UK or will be subject to deportation at the end of their sentence are not eligible for release under the end of custody licence (ECL) scheme.
The Government have made it clear that they will seek to remove or deport those foreign nationals who commit crimes in the UK and meet the relevant criteria. Of the 47,515 prisoners who were released under the end of custody licence scheme, less than 6 per cent. of these were foreign national prisoners. Internal management information also shows that less than 1 per cent. of those foreign national prisoners who were released under the scheme were later convicted of a further offence during their period of end of custody licence.
Mr. Hanson: Details of the costs of transferring prisoners to one prison from another in England and Wales using the inter prison transfer contract are held by financial year and are set out in the following table:
|Cost of inter prison transfers (£ million)|
Since August 2004 the contracts for the escort of prisoners have included a separate payment for every prisoner journey undertaken. The payment covers vehicle and staff costs. Details of these payments for escorting prisoners to and from courts in England and Wales are available by calendar year from 2005 and are set out in the following table.
|Cost of escorting prisoners to and from courts (£ million)|
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