§ Lord Hylton
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they will consider the possibility of unescorted home leaves or paroles (as happens in Germany) for women in prison for non-violent offences. [HL1354]
§ The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Williams of Mostyn)
The arrangements for release on resettlement licence (introduced in 1995 as part of the release on temporary licence scheme to replace the previous system of home leave) already allows eligible prisoners, subject to their passing a risk assessment, to be temporarily released on licence in order to maintain family ties and links with the community and to make suitable arrangements for accommodation, work and training on release. Release on resettlement licence may be granted for periods of up to five days, normally at a frequency of no more than once every eight weeks.
In addition, most prisoners serving sentences of three months and over but less than four years will be considered for the new home detention curfew scheme. Under this scheme, if the prisoner passes a risk assessment and has a suitable address, he or she may serve up to the last two months of the custodial period of their sentence in the community, subject to a curfew order which is electronically monitored.
Prisoners serving sentences of four years or more will be considered by the Parole Board for parole at the half-way point of sentence. Prisoners not granted parole are released automatically at the three-quarter point of sentence.