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Written Question
Prisoners' Release: Coronavirus
Monday 27th April 2020

Asked by: Jacob Young (Conservative - Redcar)

Question to the Ministry of Justice:

What steps his Department is taking to protect the public in response to the temporary release of prisoners during the covid-19 outbreak.

Answered by Lucy Frazer - Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

On 4 April, this Government announced its intention to temporarily release risk-assessed prisoners as part of the national plan to protect the NHS and save lives.

Public protection is our top priority. No high-risk offenders will be considered for release, nor any prisoners who have not served at least half their custodial term. Likewise, no prisoner will be released if they have symptoms of coronavirus or without housing and health support being in place.

Prisoners who pass the stringent criteria for early release will be subject to strict conditions, and will be electronically monitored, including with GPS tags, with the option to recall to prison if necessary.