108 prisoners granted Christmas Home Leave

Date published: 23 December 2015


The Prison Service has granted 108 prisoners Christmas Home Leave, for varying periods of temporary release from 23 December 2015 until 4 January 2016. Conditions have been placed on all prisoners.

Minister of Justice David Ford

51 are being released from Magilligan Prison. 44 prisoners will be released from Maghaberry Prison, 31 of which are life sentence prisoners.

8 young offenders and five female prisoners are being released from Hydebank Wood Young Offenders Centre and Prison.

All prisoners granted Christmas home leave have been the subject of a satisfactory risk assessment and have successfully completed a home leave programme or undergone periods of unaccompanied testing in the community.

The Prison Service will not be providing information in relation to individual prisoners.

Notes to editors: 

  1. Home Leave for prisoners at Christmas is granted in accordance with two Schemes – one for Determinate Sentence Prisoners and one for Life Sentence Prisoners.
  2. Determinate Sentence Prisoners must have been sentenced on or before 31 October 2015 and have successfully completed a period of home leave by 18 December 2015 to be eligible to apply for Christmas Home Leave.
  3. To be eligible to apply for Christmas Home Leave, Life Sentence Prisoners must be at least within three years of tariff or post tariff, and must be successfully undergoing periods of programmed release or successfully participating in a home leave programme. Life sentence prisoners without a tariff must have been continuously in custody for at least 10 years at 22 December 2015, and must be undergoing successful periods of unaccompanied testing in the community and/or successfully participating in the home leave programme.
  4. Remand prisoners are not eligible for Christmas Home Leave.
  5. At unlock this morning, 1472 prisoners were being held in prisons in Northern Ireland.
  6. Early release refers to a prisoner who is due for release time served during their period of temporary release.
  7. Media enquiries to the Prison Service Press Office on 028 9052 6444. Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.

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