Christmas leave for 79 inmates from Northern Ireland prisons
Fewer prisoners than last year have been granted temporary release to spend Christmas with their families.
A total of 79 inmates from Northern Ireland's jails will celebrate the festive season at home compared with 93 in 2016.
Their temporary release has been granted for varying periods from yesterday until January 2, 2018.
The 2017 figure includes 35 prisoners from Magilligan and 35 from Maghaberry.
Of these, 19 are serving sentences for serious offences, including life or indeterminate sentences.
Meanwhile, six young men and three women from Hydebank Wood College in Belfast have also been granted temporary release.
All 79 will have to abide by stringent conditions.
Those who have an extended custodial sentence must have served at least 50% of it to be eligible for home leave. Prisoners on remand awaiting trial are not eligible.