Re: End of Custody Supervised Licence (ECSL) London Probation Exemption
We are writing to update you following the Lord Chancellor’s statement to the House today.
As you all know, we have been undertaking specific actions to maximise occupancy in the prison estate due to the significant population pressures we are experiencing.
Over recent weeks we have seen an acute and exceptional demand which means that ministers have today authorised a temporary measure – End of Custody Supervised Licence (ECSL) – that will see certain lower-level offenders in certain prisons released on licence up to 18 days ahead of their automatic release date.
More serious and higher risk offenders whose release is a matter for the Parole Board to assess will not be in scope. Those serving a sentence for any kind of sexual offence or who are on the sex offenders’ register will also automatically be ruled out as well as those who have committed any violent offence with a sentence of more than four years. This will not apply in the youth custody estate or long-term high security estate and is not currently applicable to the women’s estate.
ECSL will initially be applied in 21 prisons which are:
· HMP Bullingdon
· HMP Bristol
· HMP Elmley
· HMP Bedford
· HMP Belmarsh
· HMP Brixton
· HMP Chelmsford
· HMP High Down
· HMP Isis
· HMP Norwich
· HMP Pentonville
· HMP Peterborough
· HMP Thameside
· HMP The Mount
· HMP Wandsworth
· HMP Wormwood Scrubs
· HMP Durham
· HMP Forest Bank
· HMP Liverpool
· HMP Preston
· HMP Cardiff
Prisoners released under ECSL will be subject to the same set of strict licence conditions and supervision processes as with a standard release. They will be liable to immediate recall to prison if they fail to comply.
This process is being overseen by the central Gold Command team which includes senior probation leads and accommodation representatives.
The Lord Chancellor also today outlined a range of longer-term measures to reform the way we use prisons. These include:
· Extending the Early Removal Scheme so that more foreign national prisoners are eligible for deportation
· Reforming short sentences to create a presumption that any sentence under 12 months will be suspended
· Reforming licence for indeterminate sentences of Imprisonment for Public Protection sentences
· Making use of prison space abroad
· Reviewing the use of recall for offenders on release who infringe the terms of their licence
· Considering whether to extend the early guilty plea discount to encourage people to plead guilty at the first opportunity
· Legislation to ensure rapists serve all of their custodial sentence, these measures won’t be implemented until prison capacity eases.
· Urgent work to assess options for future capacity, including setting aside £30m funding to start acquiring land that will be required for this capacity.
· A new annual statement of prison capacity will include a clear statement of current prison capacity, future demand and the forward pipeline of prison build.