Recall to prison

When a person is released from prison either on license or parole, they will be provided with a copy of their license including all the conditions attached to their release.

If a person does not keep any of the conditions they may be recalled to prison to serve the remainder of the sentence.

A prisoner serving a sentence of 12 months or more may also be recalled at any point during the term of the license by the Secretary of state.

When will a person be recalled?

A person may be recalled to prison if:

  • They breach any of the license conditions attached to their release

  • Commit a further offence during their license

  • Are charged with another offence during the term of their license

  • If the person is behaving in such a way that their Offender Manager (person responsible for their supervision) reasonable believes that they will go on to commit a further offence. This type of behaviour will usually include heavy drinking or drug involvement.

What are the effects of recall?

If someone is recalled to prison following a breach of conditions, then the police will arrest the person and take them back to the relevant prison. Their license is then considered revoked, and that person is no longer eligible to live in the community and must be returned to prison.

How a person is told of their recall

When a person is recalled to prison and their license to live in the community is revoked, their Offender Manager will either:

  • Write to the recalled person informing them of the recall, or

  • Arrange for the recalled persons arrest by the police, usually used in circumstances where the recalled person has committed a further offence during their license or whom poses a serious risk to the safety of the public.

On return to prison

Once a recalled prisoner has returned to prison, they will be provided with a copy of the report which explains the reasons for their recall.

The prisoner will also see a report provided by their Offender manager providing their professional opinion on the prisoner.

Types of Recall

The type of recall attached to a prison will have a direct impact on the length of time the recalled prisoner will have to spend in prison.

Fixed term recall

This recall will mean that the prisoner will be released from prison 28 days after they returned to prison. Following this further release, the prison will remain on his license, possible with further conditions added until the end of their license term. If the prisoner goes on to further breach of any condition the prisoner may be recalled again.

It may be possible, depending on the procedure of the prison, to make representations to the parole board immediately, who may agree to reduced the28 day fixed term recall.

Standard recall

This type of recall will apply to those prisoners who not eligible for a fixed term recall on the grounds that they are serving a sentence for a violent crime, a sexual offence, an extended sentence or because they are consider too high a risk to be recalled on a fixed term basis.

A standard recall may mean that the prisoner will remain in prison to serve the remainder of their sentence.

They may be released on the discretion of the parole board if they feel the prisoner will not commit any further offence whilst on license or is not considered a danger to the wider public.

With a standard recall, even if the prisoner does not make any direct representations for his further release, their case will be automatically sent to the Parole Board after 28 days following the recall.

The parole board may either decide to release the prisoner straight away or may fix a date within 12 months of the recall date for the prisoner to be further released on license.

Where a person is serving an extended sentence, their case will be automatically transferred to the Parole Board within 14 days of their recall date.

The prisoner will be informed of their hearing date, and will then be informed if and when the parole board decides on a release date.

Emergency Recall

Will apply to prisoners who would otherwise be eligible for standard recall, but pose such a risk to the public that their risk warrants immediate detention.

What happens after a person is recalled?

Following a person’s recall to prison they will be provided with full reasons for their recall. The prisoner is subsequently given the opportunity to make full representations in front of the Parole Board.

A prisoner should consult a solicitor for help in this matter. The Parole Board will then be provided with all the relevant papers and evidence needed to make an informed decision about the prisoners possible release.

The parole board then has a choice of 4 options available to them in relation to the prisoner:

  • Order the prisoners’ immediate release back into the community on license, or

  • Refuse the prisoner’s immediate release but order a future review for the prisoner to be released at a later date

  • Make no recommendations at all, or

  • Send the prisoner’s case forward to a full oral hearing.

Making representations

When a prisoner is making representation to a Parole Board for their release they will need to tell the Parole Board why they believe they can be safely released back into the community. These representations must be made within 2 weeks of the prisoners being given full reasons for their recall.

Representations can be made by:

  • The prisoner

  • A friend or family member

  • A legal advisor

Prison staff will be able to provide a full explanation of the process to the prison if required.