Recall to prison

Release from prison and recall

When a person is released from prison on license or on parole, they will be provided with a copy of their license, including all the conditions attached to their release. If any of these conditions are breached, they risk being recalled to prison to serve the remainder of the sentence.

A prisoner may also be recalled for other reasons at any point during the term of their 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;
  • They commit a further offence during their license;
  • They are charged with another offence during the term of their license;
  • The person is behaving in such a way that their Offender Manager (the person responsible for their supervision) reasonably believes that they will go on to commit a further offence – for instance, behaviour that involves heavy drinking or the use of drugs.

What are the effects of recall?

If someone is to be recalled to prison following a breach of conditions (or for another reason), 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.

How a person is told of their recall

When a person is to be 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 person’s arrest by the police. This is 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.

The person will have the chance to make representations to the Parole Board who will consider their case and make its decision as what should happen next; for example, order immediate release (see below).

On return to prison

If a recalled prisoner has returned to prison, they will be provided with a copy of the report explaining the reasons for their recall. They will also see a report provided by their Offender Manager providing their professional opinion.

Types of Recall

There are three types of recall. The length of time the prisoner must spent in prison depends on the type of recall to which they are subject.

Fixed term recall

A fixed term recall lasts 28 days (14 days if the original prison sentence is under 12 months) and prisoners are eligible only if they have not committed a serious sexual offence or a violent offence.

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For more information on:

  • Standard recall
  • Emergency recall
  • What happens after a person is recalled?
  • Making representations