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Court: Recall on Licence

By: Lorna Elliott LLB (hons), Barrister - Updated: 16 Dec 2017 |
Recall Licence Offender Prison Manager

After serving a prison sentence a lot of prisoners are released on licence. There are a standard set of terms that apply to all prisoners released on licence, but more stringent conditions can be set by the sentencing court, the prison, and other authorities.

If a prisoner is released on parole or licence, they will be subject to supervision by their outside probation officer (called an offender manager.) At the point of release, an offender will be given a set of terms and conditions of their licence that they are advised to check before they are released. If an offender fails to comply with the terms of their licence they run the risk of being recalled to prison.

Why do People get Recalled?

Contrary to popular belief, it is not necessary to commit a further offence to be recalled to prison. Although being arrested for a further offence may be a reason to recall a prisoner on licence, this does not automatically mean that an offender will be recalled. Another reason that is often used to recall an offender on licence is if the offender’s ‘behaviour’ makes the offender manager believe that another crime is about to be committed. This is very widely interpreted, and may constitute e.g. drinking heavily or taking drugs, behaving strangely or erratically, amongst other things.

Another common reason for being recalled to prison is for breaching a licence condition. This again is widely defined and can range from failing to attend a probation appointment, being late back for a curfew, to going into an area where you are prohibited from entering by virtue of the conditions of your licence.

How Does Recall Work?

The Public Protection Casework Section (PPCS) of the National Offender Management Service makes the decision to recall offenders. The PPCS is given power to do so by the Secretary of State for Justice. When an offender is recalled, the local police are notified and the offender is arrested and taken into custody (police station.)

What Happens Next?

Offenders who have been recalled to prison will receive written reasons as to why they have been recalled. This is in the form of a ‘recall pack’. If the offender disagrees with the reasons for the recall it is possible to make representations against the recall. It is usually possible to get a lawyer to help with this process. Offenders who are not considered to pose a high risk of serious harm to the public will be released after 28 days (presuming they have not been sentenced to further terms of imprisonment in the meantime). At the 28 day review stage, the Parole Board can either decide to release the prisoner immediately, release them at a future date, order an oral hearing, or make no recommendation as to release at all. Other offenders will not be released but the Secretary of State is under a duty to review the detention of recalled prisoners on a regular basis (usually every six months.)

If an Offender is Not Released After 28 Days

In these circumstances, it is possible to ask the Parole Board for an oral hearing at which you can call witnesses and challenge the lawfulness of the recall. The Parole Board does not have to grant you an oral hearing, but may do so if in all the circumstances it is fair to hear oral evidence.

In certain circumstances, the decision to recall may be liable to judicial review. It is always wise to seek the specialist advice of a lawyer before embarking on this course of action.

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Hi my friend is in prison and his been recalled for the same offence he has been seeing this girl at the age of 15 and she’s now 17 and his been in prison 4th time now and he really loves her and wants to be with her and he had conditions to not see or have any sort of contact with her told by probation and now his in for a recall for breaking the conditions he was given he got charged for abduction when he never even abducted her and she went to see him herself and it’s now become really complicated because she’s going to turn 18 on the 2nd of Feb and his license was going to finish on the 11th Feb now if he comes out will he still have conditions or will he be able to be with her without having to worry about probation and the police coming after them all the time??
Carey - 16-Dec-17 @ 2:33 PM
I am wanted for recall but was 3wks left till the end of my sentence now I'm at large but I only have a week till my sentence expirey date will I only be recalled for the last week of sentence or will i do longer
Kezza - 24-Nov-17 @ 12:31 AM
My dad is currently servicing 18 months for sexual assault he have 3 months left and is 79 years old I am so worried about when he comes home that someone will accuse him of something else the offence was kissing a woman's breast which he hasn't done and it was in the local paper and I'm so scared something else will happen if someone else came forward whilst he is in prison do they wait till he is released to talk to him or do the police go to the prison I'm sorry if I sound weird but the police made an appeal for others to come forward and although this was 6 months ago I'm so fearful someone else will try and do this to my Dad as the woman in question wanted money :( any idea?
JO T - 22-Nov-17 @ 5:15 AM
I have 3 months left on my license and was placed on the SOR due to an allegation made by my previous partner. I am wanting to stay at my new partner's house overnight but have been told by my probation officer that checks need to be made first. I have been told these checks can take a couple of weeks due to my partner living in a different county. What are these checks and how long do they take? Me and my new partner have been together for some time and she is agreeable to me staying at there/
Tom - 14-Nov-17 @ 10:54 PM
I've got like 2 weeks left on my license. . I'm wanted for a few shoplifting charges ... what do you think will happen to me
Azza - 7-Nov-17 @ 8:52 AM
My grandfather was on liscence after doing life in prison. He was arrested 10 + years later for a new conviction but was allowed to stay at home and travel to the courts until the end of his trial when he was officially ‘recalled’ he wasn’t sentenced for 18 months after that. Would that period of time he spent in prison waiting for sentencing be eligible to come off his new sentence being served ? Would really appreciate any advice
Ronnie - 6-Nov-17 @ 11:58 AM
If U've been recalled for a a crime U've not commited/been convicted of and is yet to go to trial... How long should it take to receive ur recall papers. If U've been remanded how does that work?
Lisa - 24-Oct-17 @ 8:22 AM
Hi a friend of mine was on life liecence and got arrested for some thing he said he hadn’t done he got sent back to prison till his trail which was today he was found not guilty on all accounts but he been taken back to prison cos of him been on licence what will happen now thank you
Manz - 23-Oct-17 @ 4:50 PM
nick - Your Question:
My son is looking to get hdc the probation officer as wrote saying she dont think he should get it because of what happened 3 years plus ago she as not even been to see him can she write a report like this now he cannot get his hdc

Our Response:
HDC is a privilege, not a right, and despite a HDC date being automatically generated for the majority of prisoners, not all prisoners will be eligible. Certain offences automatically rule out the prospect of release under the scheme, please see link here . However, yes, your son's probation officer can advise.
CourtroomAdvice - 6-Oct-17 @ 11:18 AM
my son is looking to get hdc the probation officer as wrote saying she dont think he should get it because of what happened 3 years plus ago she as not even been to see him can she write a report like this now he cannot get his hdc
nick - 5-Oct-17 @ 3:10 PM
I am on licence and have missed 2 probation appointments and have niebours phone me today saying Feds all over my house today, is this recall and how long
Ste Az - 30-Sep-17 @ 12:49 AM
My boyfriend was arrested on suspicionof theft today he's been on licence since 2014 for robbery he served nearly 4 years of a 6 and a half year sentencethe theft took place 9 months ago will he be remanded while they investigate
Nik - 24-Sep-17 @ 8:46 PM
Khan - your answer is purely down to probation if there is a risk of re-offending ! My own opinion is that he will probably stay out but I would be concerned on that his ex will eventually succeed ! I would make sure that I seek legal advice on getting a restraining order ! next time she could be claiming something like rape
Advice - 10-Sep-17 @ 6:12 PM
My friend was released from prison in may after serving 3 years of a 6 years sentence for kidnap. BEING on licence for 3 years, last week his ex tried to setup him up by stashing drugs in his vehicle and calling the police. He was arrested the police agreed that it was a setup as there was no evidence or his prints and he wasn't even aware of it. He told them he had been Setup by his ex who was annoyed about his marriage. The police released him but the probation has pulled his meeting back closer. He is due next week. Will he get Recalled ?
Khan - 9-Sep-17 @ 4:01 AM
I was sentenced to 5 years back in 2013 and my license and sentence expires in august2018 next year but I have been worrying and over thinking a lot lately as it gets closer because I want to know that when my sentence is up next year, if probation or any other authorities can extend my license or sentence once it has been served ? I can't wait to be a free man again and was just worrying because I have an exclusion zone as part of my conditions and that's where my family are and I can't wait to be with them again, please can you help put my mind at rest and say that no one can't do nothing once I have served my time, Thank you.
Monty - 1-Sep-17 @ 3:45 AM
hi was just wondering i have had a final warning already from probation and now have been seen in my exclusion zone causing minor criminal damage under the influence of alcoholi work full time but i need to have a drink rebillitation course as it seems that drink doesn't agree with me if i admit to probation that i need help and am willing to gain help whats the likellyhoodof me being able to stay out of prison without being recalled
daz - 28-Aug-17 @ 7:46 PM
Hi my partner was released on license last dec hd just done 19month out 36month sentence he missed probation & h was recalled for 28days & got back out in feb he hasnt had much contact with probation since feb & tryed to do everything he could to get life back on track but ended up staying on streets where he ended up slipping back down but probation wasnt really committed to helping him get life up back on right track so basically handed himself back in & was sent back to prison Will be be released again after another 28days recall or have to serve remainder of sentence ?? Will he have to go back to court or what will happen & How many chances at a recall do you get it must be a fixed term recall as h already had 1 please try give me some info thanks x
Kelsey crook - 5-Aug-17 @ 4:16 PM
lease help my son got sentenced to six years in prison for robbery and was released in may 2016 his been doing greet engaging with probation and keeping out of trouble then last weekend he got in to a drunken argument with his girlfriend and kicked her car the police turned up and he went to the police station the next day and he admitted it straight way and was kept over night and taken to court and he was fined 80 pound and was told he was getting recalled for the rest of his sentence which was 22 months left and taken to the cells but after ten minutes the judge bought him back to the dock and released him we was very shocked and he phoned his solicitor and said his never heard of this be for I just don't no what's going to happen now please can any one help me
sam - 5-Jul-17 @ 6:38 PM
My husband was out on licence.He was home for nearly 2 years after serving 11 years inside and had 10 yr licence He was arrested and remanded in prison last week.If the court finds him guilty will he get a sentence and will they add this onto the years left on licence??Confused and upset
Too much - 2-Jul-17 @ 11:09 PM
alf - Your Question:
I am on a final warning , today I was seen in my exclushion zone by some one from my hostle , they said they are going to inform probation , will I be recalled and how long for ? 28 days or full recall ??

Our Response:
We cannot predict whether you will be recalled or if so, what the terms of recall will be.
CourtroomAdvice - 30-Jun-17 @ 4:10 PM
Hi my partner is in life licence he was arrested & charged with conspiracy he pleaded guilty to all charges in the police station , obviously he was recalled to prison . The court case took a year to come around & everyone on remand received their year back off their sentence but my partner didn't , is he entitled to it back , can he appeal ? TIA
Majic100 - 29-Jun-17 @ 9:44 PM
i am on a final warning , today i was seen in my exclushion zone by some one from my hostle , they said they are going to inform probation , will i be recalled and how long for ? 28 days or full recall ??
alf - 25-Jun-17 @ 10:27 PM
Hi my partner is on a suspended sentence for affray. His probation was due end September this year. Unfortunately he was arrested yesterday due to having an argument with a neighbour while holding a chain in his hand. There is CCTV to prove he swung the chain at the man in question. Police have charred him with having an offensive weapon and affray. He is due at crown court on July 4th. Can any1 give me any advice on what will happen to him. Will it be prison this time ? Thanks
Rach - 21-Jun-17 @ 9:24 AM
Hi, my son was charged with a serious offense. He was remanded and recalled for a previous offense because he was charged with possession of a firearm. The CPS decided not to bring any evidence (it was the person who he was walking with who had the firearms and pleaded guilty. He went to court, the charges were not brought but he was taken back to prison and the prison have told him that he has to finish his license (august- 5 moths in total). I have spoken with his probation officer who is happy for the recall to be rescinded. But says the prison parole board need to request the review and a 'Part C' from him. Is there anything I can do to set this in motion or is my son stuck in prison on license for months even though he didn't commit an offence and as such has no real reason to be on recall?- Thanks
concerned - 12-Jun-17 @ 3:32 PM
My partner has been recalled for missing appointment he's LRO. Long will he do
Jojo. - 27-May-17 @ 9:59 PM
Friends of mine are going abroad next week. I've been invited but my license doesn't run out until November. What is the likelihood of it being found out if I went? And if I was found to have gone abroad would I serve the full time up until November?
Realist - 27-May-17 @ 9:27 PM
Can you be recalled to prison for one failed cannibis test in a probation / bail hostel?
Interested - 22-May-17 @ 7:08 PM
Lauren- Your Question:
My boyfriend got recalled to prison for staying at a different address he has 5 months left on his license and he's been in prison now for 27 days what do you think the outcome will be

Our Response:
I'm afraid this is impossible to predict. His solicitor/legal advisor would have a better indication of what he may expect after recall.
CourtroomAdvice - 16-May-17 @ 11:27 AM
My boyfriend got recalled to prison for staying at a different address he has 5 months left on his license and he's been in prison now for 27 days what do you think the outcome will be
Lauren - 15-May-17 @ 1:55 PM
Hi my son has been out of prison for 8 months now on licence which is due to end in December but the police reckon he will get recalled for arguing with his girlfriend as she says he violent is this true can he get recalled
Lisawall40 - 2-May-17 @ 6:11 PM
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