Can a prisoner be released from prison early?
If the defendant receives a prison sentence, they may not necessarily have to serve the full length of the sentence passed by the court. Offenders, other than those sentenced to life imprisonment, generally serve 50% of the sentence that is announced in court. This means that someone sentenced to 6 years imprisonment will be released from prison after serving 3 years. This is known as 50% remission. The period of time that an offender has already spent in custody before the trial will also be taken into account when calculating their release date. In some cases, the offender is supervised in the community by the Probation Board after their release from prison. If this is the case, the judge will announce this when passing sentence. For further information on how to be kept informed about prisoner release, please visit the Victim Information Scheme section of this walkthrough.