More chance of being released early!

Many prisoners are eligible for early release on Home Detention Curfew (HDC). If a prisoner is released on HDC they will be tagged and subject to a curfew which is electronically monitored.

Upon arrival in prison the prisoner will be given a release dates notification slip which included the HDC eligibility date. Prisoners should be assessed for HDC before that date, however quite often there are backlogs and so decisions can take weeks longer than they should to be made, meaning that prisoners spend longer in prison than necessary.

Furthermore, Governors make decisions only based on the reports which they are given and these often contain incorrect, incomplete or ambiguous information, making it more likely that HDC will be refused.

Call us for advice and representation. We will confirm the relevant dates and will take instructions to include ALL of the information that the Governor needs to know when considering whether to grant early release. OR if you have been refused early release based on incorrect or incomplete information, we will make representations to the Governor to appeal their decision.

Unfortunately prisoners are no longer entitled to legal aid for HDC reviews/appeal, but at CM Solicitors we pride ourselves on offering reasonable fixed fees for advice and representation on HDC. For a low, one off fixed fee, we will deal with your review and make every effort to ensure that you are released early.

Sentence Progression

All prisoners need to progress through their sentence, by way of completing sentence plan targets and offending behaviour courses in order to increase their chance of getting to open conditions. In the case of life or IPP sentenced prisoners, they HAVE to progress and complete courses if they are to have any chance of being released.

All prisoners have sentence plans throughout their sentence and most have sentence plan targets which include courses which must be completed before the Governor will consider granting Category D status, or before the Parole Board will grant a progressive move to open conditions, or release.

In the majority of cases there are very long waiting lists for courses and many inmates find themselves being unable to get to open conditions, or to be released, simply because prisons can’t provide them access to the courses they need to complete. If you don’t do anything about it you could find yourself still in prison for years longer than you would have been if you had been able to complete the work. It is not the prisoners fault if they can’t get on courses quickly, however ultimately it is the prisoner and their families who are the only ones who suffer.

A number of offenders have been successful in winning large amounts of compensation for the fact that they have had to stay in prison for years after their tariffs have expired, simply due to the fact that the prison could not get them on the necessary courses in a reasonable period of time. However it remains the position that a great many prisoners spend longer than necessary in prison because they aren’t able to complete the courses on their sentence plan.

How we can help

We will assess the prisoner’s needs and liaise with the prisoner and their key workers to ensure they are prioritised and progressed properly to ensure they can meet the requirements for a downgrade to category D, or for release at their next parole review.

It doesn’t end there though! Prisoners in open conditions are now feeling the effects of the change in policy on the granting of release on temporary licence (ROTL), in that they are having to jump through a ridiculous amount of hoops just to get a town visit.

The prison now need copious amounts of paperwork to be completed and the probation service, who are already in disarray, are having to get involved in each and every application for ROTL. Whilst this may be a reasonable exercise in risk assessment, in reality the new system is causing huge delays to prisoners being able to undertake town visits, home leaves and community work and this in turn is causing problems when these prisoners ask the Parole Board to release them as many will not have had the opportunity to spend as much time in the community as the Parole Board would have liked. Whilst the Board accept that this is not the prisoners fault, the test they have to apply to be satisfied that it is safe to release a prisoner, has not changed and so prisoners are now spending more time in prison than they should.

If you don’t want to spend longer in prison that you need to, call us for advice and assistance in relation to your progression!

Sadly Legal Aid is not available for sentence progression, however for a low, one off, fixed fee we will help you get out when you should!