NI prisoners home for Christmas

Published Friday, 21 December 2012
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Seventy-two prisoners, including 11 on life sentence, will be released for Christmas leave.

NI prisoners home for Christmas
A number of prisoners service life sentences have been released over Christmas. (© UTV)

They will be home between 21 December and 2 January 2013, after successfully applying to get out over the festive season.

Thirty-six prisoners are being released from Magilligan, while 23 have been allowed out of Maghaberry, 11 of which are life sentence prisoners.

Eight young offenders have been granted leave from Hydebank, while five women are also being released.

A spokesperson for the prison service said, "All 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."

A further 112 prisoners were refused leave, and this year's numbers are down on Christmas 2011, when 87 prisoners were given Christmas Home Leave.

Life prisoners must be within three years of their sentence, or have passed it, and successfully undergone programmed release before they are eligible.

Those who have been jailed for life without a tariff must have been in custody for at least 10 years, while remand prisoners do not qualify for the leave.

At unlock on Friday, 1698 prisoners were being held in prisons in Northern Ireland.

© UTV News
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4 Comments
Frosty in Here wrote (483 days ago):
Meanwhile the other 1626 prisoners will receive a new playstation 3 each, be warm enough that they can sit around in tshirts and don't have to worry about the bills in January.
Dave in Belfast wrote (484 days ago):
You have to be kidding me, is the prison system that soft that we are going to let murderers, rapists, and terrorists out to have a Christmas holiday. What has happened to the human rights of the general population and the victims of the crimes these scumbags have committed. If any of these criminals commit crimes while out on holiday leave the person responsible for letting them out should be tried as an accessory. Nothing short of a disgrace to have them out before they have served their time.
Outraged in n.i wrote (484 days ago):
is this some sort of sick joke?
Longsgleb in Longsgleb wrote (484 days ago):
Shame about the rest of us who have to work from the 21st-2nd january eh? How many coppers, nurses and carers are going to have to work to protect them from possibly doing harm? What happened to done the crime do the time?
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