Release on Licence

A custodial sentence handed down by the courts will be split into two parts; the first of these will be served in prison and the second will be served in the community on “licence”.

The aims of the licence period are to:

  • Protect the public
  • Prevent re-offending
  • Secure the successful reintegration of the offender into the community.

Time spent on licence in the community for MAPPA eligible offenders is supervised by the National Probation Service. There are seven standard conditions for offenders, which are:

  • Behave appropriately and do not undertake any activity that may undermine their attempts to resettle in the community.
  • Not commit any offence.
  • Maintain contact with their supervising probation officer and do what the officer instructs them to do.
  • Allow their supervising probation officer to visit them at home if required.
  • Live only at addresses approved by their probation officer and the offender must request permission to stay anywhere else.
  • Only do work, paid or unpaid, that has been approved by their probation officer and keep them notified of any changes in employment.
  • Not travel outside of the United Kingdom, Isle of Man or Channel Islands unless permission is given.

Prior to an offender’s release, the supervising officer in the NPS will discuss the case with colleagues from MAPPA, receive reports from the prison and other agencies involved in the management of the offender, and speak to the a Victim Liaison Officer (VLO) if the victim(s) of the index offence(s) have opted into the Victim Contact Scheme (VCS). The offender themselves will be consulted to ensure that any additional licence conditions are being imposed on a necessary and proportionate basis.

Based on that information the supervising officer will decide whether they believe that licence conditions in addition to those listed above are required to manage the risks posed by the offender following release. They will seek permission from a representative of the Secretary of State for Justice to place these additional licence conditions onto the licence. These types of conditions will fall into the following categories:

  • Residence at a specific place
  • Restriction of residency
  • Making or maintaining contact with a person
  • Participation in, or cooperation with, a programme or set of activities
  • Possession, ownership, control or inspection of specified items or documents
  • Disclosure of information
  • Curfew arrangements
  • Freedom of movement
  • Supervision in the community by the supervising officer, or other responsible officer, or organisation
  • Drug testing/appointments
  • Polygraph testing

There are set lists of additional conditions which may be requested without further confirmation from the Public Protection Casework Section (PPCS) in NOMS. However if the offender poses a risk which wouldn’t be mitigated by the use of these lists, then a “bespoke condition” can be requested. Permission for bespoke conditions must be sought from PPCS, who may liaise with legal advisors depending on the type of request and the individual circumstances of the case.

The offender will receive their licence shortly release from custody, and staff in the prison will explain what will apply to the offender on release and where they should report to initially. Once they arrive and meet with their probation supervisor, the conditions will be explained once more.

Additional and bespoke licence conditions are based on the current risk and issues posed by an offender, and as that offender re-integrates into the community it is expected that the conditions will change over time. Equally, should the offender manager be concerned about the behaviour of the offender in the community then additional conditions can be applied in order to better protect the public and prevent reoffending.

If an offender breaks the terms and conditions of their licence then they may be recalled to prison or receive a warning.

Click here for MAPPA Guidance Chapter 16 - Recall: Licence Conditions