Parole Board and the test for release
Produced in partnership with Simon Creighton of Bhatt Murphy Solicitors
Parole Board and the test for release

The following Corporate Crime guidance note Produced in partnership with Simon Creighton of Bhatt Murphy Solicitors provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Parole Board and the test for release
  • Test for release: determinate sentences
  • Test for release: extended determinate sentences
  • Test for release: lifers and imprisonment for public protections (IPPs)
  • Test for open conditions: lifers and IPPs

Test for release: determinate sentences

The majority of prisoners serving determinate sentences will be released automatically once they have reached the half way point of their sentence. A key exception to this is terrorist prisoners (see further below). A small group of prisoners serving sentences of four years or more for violent and sexual offences committed before 4 April 2005 will still be subject to discretionary release at the half way point of their sentence. All determinate prisoners are subject to recall during their licence period and may be re-released at the direction of the parole board, see Practice Note: Functions of the Parole Board.

From February 2020, prisoners serving a determinate sentence for specified terrorist offences are subject to restricted eligibility for release on licence. The first eligible release point for such offenders will be the two-thirds point of their sentence (rather than one-half) and it is a matter for the Parole Board to decide whether to release them at this point.

Historically, the Secretary of State’s directions required the Board to consider the risk of any further offences being committed, balanced against the benefit of release in the community under supervision. The risk of further offending did not need to relate to offending of a similar type to that resulting in the sentence being served.

However, from 3 December