1. When someone can leave prison

When a prisoner is released depends on:

  • the length of their sentence
  • their behaviour in prison
  • any time spent on remand (waiting for their trial)

If the prisoner has a fixed term (determinate) sentence

A prisoner serving a determinate sentence is normally released automatically halfway through their sentence.

If their sentence is 12 months or more, they will be released on probation.

A Parole Board is not involved.

When a Parole Board reviews a case

Prisoners can apply for parole if they have an extended sentence, or a fixed-term sentence for:

  • 4 years or more
  • a serious violent or sexual crime committed before 4 April 2005

If the prisoner has a non fixed term (indeterminate) or life sentence

The government will apply for parole on the prisoner’s behalf.