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  1. ITV Report

Prisoners in Jersey could be released on licence to prevent reoffending

Prisoners in Jersey could soon get released before their sentences are up in a new move by Jersey ministers. Credit: ITV Channel TV

Prisoners in Jersey could soon get released before their sentences are up in a new move by Jersey ministers.

In conjunction with the prison service, the Home Affairs department wants to introduce licences, which would see convicts released after two thirds of their sentence but with strict conditions.

It is hoped it will help cut the numbers of prisoners who go on to reoffend.

There are currently around 140 prisoners at La Moye.

But when they get out 38% will go on to reoffend, and end up back behind bars. That figure is higher than the UK.

Access to work, accommodation and support are the most prevelant reasons behind reoffending.

Now in a bid to cut those numbers, ministers in Jersey are backing a post-release license scheme.

Prisoners can serve the last third of their sentence, if they are convicted to six months or more, out in the community.

Similar schemes are run in the UK and if someone is found to have breached their license, they go back to prison.

Any law changes would need to be agreed by States Members, but the prison service are hoping to have a pilot scheme in place by the end of this year.

There are currently around 140 prisoners at La Moye. Credit: ITV Channel TV

If I take for example, somebody sentenced to three years for an assault, they would spend two years in the prison where we'd work with them to address behaviour. Then at the two thirds point they'd get released on a license for the remaining one year of that three years sentence for example, and in that license we'd set a number of conditions which thety have to comply with, such as they have to have a job and retain employment, they have to reside at a certain address, we may check them and may take drug tests or an alcohol test when they're on license.

The overall case management will be managed by a probation officer who will also give them support. and then at the end of that process, if the offender has completed with success their license, their sentence would finish at the three year period.

– Nick Cameron, Jersey's Prison Governor