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The following table sets out the average tariff length for sentences received in the same time period, for mandatory lifers and other lifers (not including indeterminate sentences for public protection), rounded to the nearest year, by year and sentence. As with any large scale recording system, they are subject to possible errors arising from either data entry or processing.
|Mandatory Lifers||Other Lifers|
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many and what proportion of prisoners who completed their sentence during (a) 2007 and (b) 2008 served their entire sentence in prison. 
Maria Eagle: In accordance with the legislation which governs the release of prisoners, no prisoner serving a determinate sentence is required to serve the entire sentence in prison. Successive legislation on this, since 1967, has maintained the approach that prisoners should serve a proportion of their sentence in custody and the rest in the community, often subject to licence conditions on release. This approach is vital for the purposes of safely reintegrating prisoners back into the community and to reduce the risk of further offending. If prisoners were to serve their whole sentence in prison they would have to be released without any supervision or restrictions, which would put the public at risk.
The following table shows the average percentage of sentence served (including time on remand) for prisoners discharged from determinate sentences in 2007 and 2008 from prison establishments in England and Wales.
|Percentage of time served including remand|
This table is an extract from tables 9.1 and 9.2 in the recently published Offender Management Caseload Statistics 2008, a copy of which has been placed in the House of Commons Library and which can also be found at the following website:
Mr. Gerrard: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the difference was between the budget and the expenditure outturn for the Prison Service in the financial years (a) 2005-06, (b) 2006-07 and (c) 2007-08. 
|Resource b udget||Outturn e xpenditure||Underspend/(Overspend)|
Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prisoners escaped from each open prison in England and Wales in each of the last (a) 12 months and (b) 12 years for which figures are available; for which offence each prisoner was originally convicted; and which prisoners are still unlawfully at large. 
Maria Eagle: Escapes involve a prisoner absenting himself from prison custody without lawful authority by overcoming a physical security restraint such as that provided by fences, locks, bolts and bars, a secure vehicle or handcuffs. Absconds occur where a prisoner absents himself or herself from prison custody without lawful authority and without overcoming physical security barriers or restraints, conditions typically found in open prisons. Absconds have been falling and last year recorded the lowest number of absconds on record.
Table 2 shows the number of prisoners who have absconded from each open prison in England and Wales for the last 12 years and numbers of prisoners who remain unlawfully at large. Figures for prisoners unlawfully at large prior to April 2004 are not available centrally and could be produced only at disproportionate cost.
Table 3 shows the index offences of prisoners who have absconded from each open prison since April
2004. Data are not available centrally prior to this period and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
All those located in open conditions have been risk assessed and categorised as being of low risk to the public. Time spent in open prisons affords prisoners the opportunity to find work, re-establish family ties, reintegrate into the community and ensure housing needs are met. For long-term prisoners these are essential components for successful resettlement and an important factor in protecting the public.
Prisons can and do take a variety of actions to try and reduce absconds. Open prisons operate intelligence systems to try and spot those who might be planning to abscond; prisoners are screened and those who are at significant risk of absconding are sent back to closed conditions; in many areas the prison, police and CPS are working together to maximise the prosecution of absconders to provide a deterrent to others who may be thinking of doing the same.
|Table 1: Numbers of prisoners who have absconded from open prisons in England and Wales for the last 12 months (first row for each prison) and those who remain unlawfully at large (second row for each prison)|
The second row of each establishment shows the number of prisoners still unlawfully at large.
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