Error Becomes Terror- UK Prisons Set Over 70 Inmates Free By Mistake, Police To Recapture Prisoners

The mistakes have been uncovered as violence surged to a new high, official figures reveal.

It means inmates were let out because of blunders at a rate of more than one a week in the UK.

Pentonville Prison
The centre of Pentonville Prison, London (Picture: PA)

Fifty-eight of the erroneous releases occurred from prison establishments while 13 were during escort or at courts.

Prisoners released in error are not considered to be unlawfully at large, according to an MoJ report setting out the figures.

It says: ‘They are not culpable and may be unaware that they have not completed their sentence or have outstanding warrants

A prisoner is officially classed as having been released in error if they are wrongly discharged from an establishment or court when they should have remained in custody.


Examples of errors can include misplaced warrants for imprisonment or remand, recall notices not being acted on, sentence miscalculations or discharging the wrong person on escort.

The MoJ said releases in error are extremely rare but it takes cases very seriously, working with police to recapture offenders.

The findings on UK prisons revealed:

  • There were 15 escapes from prisons or prisoner escorts in 2016/17;
  • Self-harm in jails reached a record high of 40,414 incidents in the 12 months to March 2017, up 5,749 (17%) from the previous year;
  • Serious assaults on staff have trebled since 2013, reaching 805 in 2016/17;
  • Assaults in female prisons reached 1,023, the highest level for at least nine years;
  • The performance of 10 jails was rated as being of ‘serious concern’.

The findings are the latest in a line of statistics laying bare the scale of the safety crisis behind bars in England and Wales.

A raft of statistics released on Thursday by the Ministry of Justice also revealed violence across the prisons estate in England and Wales has surged to a new high.



Written by How Africa

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