Inside Time Articles

Ryan Harman, PRT's advice and information service manager, writes a regular column for the prison newspaper Inside Time, you can read his articles here.

May1
Extended confusion
01/05/2017 00:01:00 by Ryan Harman

Extended sentences have been covered a number of times in Inside Time in the last couple of years, but there still seems to be some confusion about what they mean for release, categorisation and recall.

Extended sentences are a type of determinate sentence which include two parts. The first is a custodial term. The custodial term is like a determinate sentence which means you serve some of it in prison and the remainder on licence in the community, depending upon when you are released. The second part is an extended period on licence in the community, as decided by the court.

Part of the reason for the confusion is that there have been several types of extended sentences over the years, and changes made to these sentences over time which impact on how and when you can be released from prison. The two most recent types of extended sentence for adults are the Extended Sentence for Public Protection (EPP) and the Extended Determinate Sentence (EDS). 

The Extended Sentence for Public Protection (EPP) was introduced in April 2005 by the Criminal Justice Act 2003. It is also known as a ‘section 227 or 228’ extended sentence. 

On an EPP, if you were sentenced after 4th April 2005 but before 14 July 2008 you will be eligible for Parole at the halfway point of your custodial sentence. If you are not released by Parole you will be released automatically at the end of your custodial term.

If you were sentenced on or after 14 July 2008 and convicted before 3 December 2012, you will be automatically released at the halfway point of your custodial sentence.

Extended Determinate Sentences (EDS) were introduced in December 2012 by the LAPSO Act. They replaced the Extended Sentences for Public Protection.

On an EDS, if you were sentenced before 13 April 2015 with a custodial term of less than 10 years you will be released automatically at the two thirds part of the custodial sentence.

If you were sentenced before 13 April 2015 with a custodial term of more than 10 years you will be eligible for Parole at the two thirds stage of the sentence. If you are not released by Parole you will be released automatically at the end of your custodial term.

If you were sentenced on or after 13 April 2015 you will be eligible for Parole at the two thirds stage of the sentence. If you are not released by Parole you will be released automatically at the end of your custodial term.

It is important to note that changes to extended sentences are not retrospective. This means that changes in the law that happened after you were sentenced will not affect the type of sentence you have or when you will be released.

Some of the questions we get about extended sentences are about categorisation. PSI 40/2011 Categorisation and Recategorisation Of Adult Male Prisoners has not been updated since introduction of EDS, but does mention EPP. As with other sentences you should have your security category reviewed at least once every 12 months, unless you are within 24 months of your earliest release date, at which point you should get a review every 6 months. It could also be reviewed earlier if there is a significant change in circumstances.

To be considered for open conditions, you will normally have to be within two years of your earliest possible release. If your release is subject to Parole this means within two years of your ‘Parole Eligibility Date’. If you are released automatically this means within two years of your release date.
After you are released from custody you will be on licence for rest of the custodial term plus the extended period decided by the court. You should make sure you know what date your licence ends.

Whilst on licence you will have conditions that you will need to follow. If you breach the conditions of your licence and you could be recalled to prison until the end of your sentence, unless the Parole Board direct your release earlier. This is called a ‘Standard Recall’. If you are serving an extended sentence or extended determinate sentence you are not eligible to be considered for a 28 day recall, known as a ‘Fixed Term Recall’.

Our team have gathered information on this subject into an information sheet for people on extended sentences. If this may be useful to you please get in contact and we would be happy to send you a copy.

You can contact the Prison Reform Trust’s advice team at FREEPOST ND6125 London EC1B 1PN. Our free information line is open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 3.30-5.30. The number is 0808 802 0060 and does not need to be put on your pin.