Types of Custodial Sentences

Short-term sentences (under 4 years)

The person sentenced will be released half way through their sentence with no supervision except: 

where a Supervised Release Order, Extended Sentence or Short Term Sex Offender Licence was imposed at the time of sentence.

Long-term Sentence (4 years and over)

The person sentenced will be able to apply for release on Parole Licence half way through their sentence. If this is not successful then they can apply for Parole every 12 months. Some people will be released after two-thirds of their sentence on a Non-Parole Licence. This depends on when they were sentenced as the law changed. In all cases, the person who offended will be subject to supervision in the community from their release until the sentence end date. Supervision is to reduce the risk of reoffending and support reintegration back into the local community. It is a bit like serving your sentence in the community instead of in a prison. 

Extended Sentence

An Extended Sentence incorporates a custodial sentence. There are similar timescales for short and long term sentences. The 'Extended’ part is how long the person is supervised in the community. Extended sentences are imposed when the offence has caused serious harm to the public, or the Court thinks that supervision is needed to manage the risk posed by the person who has offended.

Life Sentence

This is an automatic sentence when someone has been convicted of murder, but can also be imposed for other seriously harmful offences. The Court will set the minimum punishment term that is served in custody. Once this has been reached the person who has offended can apply for release on Life Licence. If granted, this will result in their supervision in the community for the rest of their life. It is possible for the supervision to be revoked after ten years in the community. This has to be agreed by the Parole Board.