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Criteria for ECTR defined

As we have mentioned in several news items, there are plans to release early some prisoners who are near to the end of their sentence to assist in reducing the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in the prison system.

To date there has been a very limited number of prisoners who have actually been released under this scheme, and this is perhaps due to in part to the fairly complex criteria involved in assessing those eligible for release.

Pact (the Prison Advice and Care Trust) – a charity that provides support to prisoners, people with convictions, and their families. has published a fairly comprehensive outline of the criteria for ECTR which answers the following questions:

  • Are people in prison being released early?
  • Who cannot be released early?
  • Who can be released early?
  • What about the release of children and young people?
  • Is there anything else to consider?
  • Who decides who might be suitable for release?
  • If a prisoner meets all these standards, do they get automatically released?
  • How will prisoners find out about their release?
  • Is End of Custody Temporary Release (ECTR) the same across all prisons?
  • What are the conditions of End of Custody Temporary Release (ECTR)?
  • How will prisoners who are released early be monitored?
  • Can the End of Custody Temporary Release (ECTR) licence be revoked?
  • What happens after the End of Custody Temporary Release (ECTR) licence?
  • When did this start? How long will it last?

It certainly gives some indication as to possible reasons for the limited numbers of prisoners released to date under the scheme to date.

We at Yellow Ribbon are committed to helping those leaving prison who are ready to make the changes needed for a new and productive life and the fairly stringent criteria needed for ECTR will certainly favour individuals who have this goal.

We will continue to work closely with HMP resettlement teams, Probation services and the Police to offer suitable accommodation and support services in the community for those who qualify for ECTR.

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