Belfast Telegraph

Christmas home leave for 87 prisoners

By David Young

Almost 90 prisoners have been granted home leave in Northern Ireland over the Christmas period.

The 87 released from custody this festive season compares with 53 last year.

The Department of Justice said conditions have been placed on all prisoners granted leave, while applications from a further 74 prisoners were refused.

Six of those granted home leave have been given early release and their time in prison is now over.

Of those leaving jail over Christmas, 55 are being released from Magilligan low security prison in Co Londonderry, of whom two are early releases. Twenty prisoners from high security HMP Maghaberry in Co Antrim have been granted leave, 11 of whom are serving life sentences and one is an early release.

From Hydebank Wood Young Offenders Centre and connected women's prison in south Belfast eight young offenders are being released, one of whom is an early release, and four females were granted leave, two of whom are early releases.

The DoJ said prisoners granted home leave at Christmas have been subject to a satisfactory risk assessment and have either successfully completed a home leave programme or undergone periods of unaccompanied testing in the community.

To be eligible to apply for Christmas leave, life sentence prisoners must be at least within three years of their minimum term tariff or post tariff.

Life sentence prisoners without a tariff must have been continuously in custody for at least ten years.

Remand prisoners are not eligible for Christmas home leave.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph