S47/49 Determinate sentences and parole

Although I have dealt with a number of life sentenced prisoners and obtained parole hearings via s74 I find that I am unsure whether a transferred prisoner with a determinate sentence could also apply for parole via s74. I seem to remember that it is only life sentenced prisoners can apply for parole in hospital but on reading s74 I am less confident that this is correct.

Hi Karen,
If the individual were in prison and eligible to do so, I understand that PB applications can be made for example to seek a transfer to a lower category jail. When in hospital, the prisoner/patient is ineligible to apply to the PB at all save if the notification is given by a FTT and that will only be given if the s.74 test is made out of course i.e., eligibility for a CD or AD if were subject to 37/41. This is a problem for cat A prisoners who spend years in a hospital - they remain cat A as they can’t apply for a recategorisation while in hospital and that means after years of treatment, if transferred back to prison, they could be sent back to a cat A from a low secure mental health unit!

But to actually answer your question: I think it is possible but one would need to know if the patient is eligible, if he/she were in prison, to apply to the PB for release and that is something the MoJ should be able to confirm.

Thank you Ian. I seem to recall that it used to say in Jones that parole in hospital just related to life-sentenced prisoners but this part is no longer there.
Does anyone have experience of a s74 tribunal triggering parole for a prisoner with a determinate sentence?

I agree with Ian that the question is whether the patient would be eligible for parole if still in prison.

I’ll try to summarise what I think I know, in the hope that someone will fill in the gaps. Patients who were sentenced to any indeterminate sentence (life, imprisonment for public protection, and detention for public protection) can have a Parole Board at the tariff point, as described above. Generally, determinate-sentence prisoners are just automatically released at the half-way point, or sometimes at the two-thirds point (those sentenced recently to 7 years or more for a relevant violent or sexual offence), without any Parole Board involvement. Others instead become eligible for parole during their sentence – either at the half-way point (offenders of particular concern) or the two-thirds point (dangerous offenders subject to extended sentences, terrorists, and some old sentences of 4 years or more). There are likely other exceptions, and exceptions to the exceptions. Some further information is on the Sections 47, 48 and 49: transferred prisoners page.

Thanks Jonathan that is helpful. What bearing does the EDR date have on parole entitlement? Of course that is the date that a determinate sentenced prisoner becomes notional but can you use that date to work out if they are eligible for parole?

It only becomes an issue when you get someone with a very long determinate sentence where parole in hospital might be possible before they become notional. Given how long parole is taking in hospital that’s pretty rare.

To clarify- I don’t mean that parole is taking 15 years! Just that usually a transferred prisoner with a long sentence is not likely to be ready for parole anyway for many years.