If you have been imprisoned and part of your sentence is remitted, this means that you do not have to remain in prison for the full period of your sentence. For example, if you have been sentenced to 8 years’ imprisonment, you may be released after 6 years. In other words, the remaining 2 years of your sentence are remitted.
Temporary release means that you are released from prison for a specified period of time for a specific purpose or reason.
Under Rule 59 of the Prison Rules 2007 as amended, the vast majority of prisoners serving sentences are entitled to remission at a rate of one quarter. In practice, this means that a person sentenced to 4 years’ imprisonment will be expected to serve 3 years in custody. However, part of this remission may be cancelled as disciplinary punishment. Whether or not you get remission depends on your good behaviour while you are in prison.
On application by a prisoner, the Minister for Justice and Equality can grant enhanced remission of up to one third of the sentence. The prisoner must have shown further good conduct by engaging in authorised structured activities and the Minister must be satisfied that, as a result, the prisoner is less likely to re-offend and will be better able to reintegrate into the community.
Prisoners who cannot benefit from remission include those serving life sentences.
There are 3 kinds of temporary release:
When the Minister is deciding whether to grant temporary release, a number of different factors are considered:
If you are granted temporary release, it will be subject to certain conditions including:
You will sign a release form acknowledging that:
While you are outside the prison, you may be considered to be unlawfully at large and may be arrested when:
If you are discharged from prison whether on temporary or permanent release, the Governor must ensure that you have:
If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000. The Phone Service will operate Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm during January 2017. You can also visit your local Citizens Information Centre.