Prisons in Parliament – 17 October

Drones, reoffending and temporary release

... Image: Don McCullough

… Image: Don McCullough


Prisons in Parliament brings you up-to-date on the last week of politics and prisons. What’s been said? And by whom? Get it all here. 


Invasion of the prison drones 

Jo Stevens, Shadow Secretary of State for Wales, asked how many drones have been intercepted operating over prisons in England and Wales in 2015 and  2016.

Sam Gyimah, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice, said there were 33 incidents relating to drones reported by prisons in 2015. This includes finds, interceptions and sightings.

The Ministry of Justice intends to routinely publish information on prison drone incidents in the future. Information for this year will be published at a later date. 

Mr Gyimah said the government has already introduced new legislation to make it illegal to land a drone in prison or to use a drone to drop in contraband. Anyone found using a drone can get two years in prison. 


Re-offending and employment 

Mark Hendrick, the Labour MP from Preston, asked how many prisoners released on licence to a bail hostel have been subsequently recalled to prison in 2016.

Mr Gyimah said 715 offenders were recalled to prison whilst residing in an approved premises between January 2016 and March 2016.

Frank Field, chairman of the Work and Pensions Committee, asked how many people released from each prison in England and Wales reoffended and how many went into employment within six months of their release in each of the last five years.

Mr Gyimah said information on the employment status of prisoners beyond the point of release is not available centrally and can only be obtained at a disproportionate cost.


Mr Davies or Scrooge? 

Philip Davies, Conservative MP for Shipley, asked how many serving prisoners were not in prison on Christmas Day in 2015 and what offences were committed by each such offender?

Mr Gyimah said that 973 prisoners were in the community having been released on temporary licence (ROTL) on that day.

He added that the number of failures of temporary release in 2015 fell by 32 per cent to 162. The failure rate, at 49 per 100,000 releases, is the lowest since 2002.

The table below shows the principal offence for which these prisoners were serving a sentence by offence category and, within the “violence against the person” category, by offence.


Source: They Work For You

Source: They Work For You

Source: They Work For You


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