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Remission and Temporary Release from Prison


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.

Section 35 of the Prisons Act 2007 came into effect in May 2007 and provides for the making of prison rules. Prison rules set out the the various conditions in prisons in Ireland and include all aspects of admission, registration, accommodation, visiting rights, health, discipline, education, etc. The new Act extends the range of matters covered by prison rules. The prison rules (SI No. 252/2007) came into operation in October 2007.



Prisoners have a right to remission of one-quarter of their prison sentence. 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.

Temporary Release

There are two kinds of temporary release:

  • Day-to-day temporary release. This is normally to go to a job outside the prison during the day and return to the prison at night. This is usually considered when a prisoner is coming close to the end of their sentence.
  • Full temporary release either for a specified period or until the end of the sentence. This is normally granted on compassionate grounds in cases where urgent family or domestic circumstances arise. It is also considered if a prisoners has been progressing well on day-to-day temporary release.

When the prison is deciding whether to grant temporary release, it will consider a number of different factors. It will consider the nature and circumstances of the crime you committed; your own attitude towards rehabilitation; your educational, training and employment needs and opportunities; your behaviour while in prison; your family background and the general background.

If you are granted temporary release, it will be subject to certain conditions including:

  • the requirement to keep the peace and maintain good behaviour during the period of release
  • the requirement to maintain sober habits
  • the requirement not to publish or communicate anything to the media.

You will sign a "release form" acknowledging that

  • you are aware of the terms and conditions of your release
  • those terms have been explained to you
  • you are aware of the time when your period of release ends.

While you are outside the prison, you may be considered to be unlawfully at large and may be arrested when:

  • The period of release has ended or
  • A condition of your release has been broken.
Page edited: 28 February 2012



Related Documents

  • Victims of Crime and the Prisons
    The relationship between victims and the prison system
  • Prison Conditions
    There are rules in place governing the conditions in prisons. Find out about diet, hygiene, recreation and visitation committees.
  • Types of sentences
    There are a range of sentences available to judges that can be imposed on someone found guilty of a criminal offence.

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