Home > The Justice Process > Court: Recall on Licence

Court: Recall on Licence

By: Lorna Elliott LLB (hons), Barrister - Updated: 7 Jun 2018 |
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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My partner was released on January after facing a prison sentance of 3 years he faced a year and a half, and was left out on license he has now been recalled for 28 days after missing him probabtion appointments by accident what is the chance he will stay in prison for the rest of his sentance or is there a high possibility he will be out within the 28 days?
Layla - 7-Jun-18 @ 7:03 PM
Hi my boyfriend is on a 3 year licence after getting out of jail he was arrested early hours of the 2nd of June but was not charged due to insufficient evidence he has a meeting with his probation officer today and I am just wondering is there a possibility of him being recalled or not if so will he be eligible for a 28 day recall or will he do the full 3 years
Kat - 5-Jun-18 @ 8:45 AM
My boyfriend was out on licence but was currently arrested and charged with assault he was sent back to prison for 8 weeks and recalled by he’s probation officer will that mean he will have to stay in jail until the end of he’s first sentence or just the days he’s been recalled for?
Lisasheehan1987 - 23-May-18 @ 5:55 PM
My partner was recalled back to prison in March for basically word of mouth rumours and suspicion the police have not charged him there is no evidence against him yet he is still in prison even though they have charged two people with the offence and there going to court in July probation seem to be dragging there heels can anyone give me any information if this is right because he is in there for nothing
Nickie - 16-May-18 @ 7:56 PM
Hi need some advice please my partner was arrested for a crime was reminded in to custody but court thrown it straight out but been recalled for rest of his license which we don't understand, his solicitor was doing paper work for him to be let out as no evidence says he done anything wrong he's stuck to all his appointment everything that he got told to do he did surly this recall for full license can't be right what else can we do, thank you.
Kel - 17-Apr-18 @ 1:08 PM
my boyfriend have recall for help a mate and now him have be recall from that l would mean but him have did everything worry for him to get recall so what happened now
Jackie - 14-Mar-18 @ 12:49 PM
My son has been recalled because police have evidence of attempted burglary but so far no charges have been made why not. What happens next.
Soso - 1-Feb-18 @ 5:12 PM
I'm out on hdc my tag comes of the third of Feb but will be on licince for 18 months but got arrested on Wednesday 3rd Jan for cimimal damage saying I smashed a window the window was already smashed an she just wanted rid of me knowing I'd be in trouble will this mean automatic recall
Gdog - 4-Jan-18 @ 5:50 PM
My boyfriend attended a meeting with his probation officer yesterday and they have said they are possibly going to recall him today due to steroids showing up on his drug test. I have tried to tell him that surely they would not send him home for him to be arrested the next day? But they said it needs to go to their supervisor before they can act on anything. He’s completely changed his life around and they can see that so can they really recall him for something so petty?
Meghan - 29-Dec-17 @ 9:52 AM
@Carey - at 18 the girl no longer is under parental repsponsibility and so will be free to make her own decisions. It all depends upon whether there is a specific restraining order made by the courts that he keeps away from her.
DanO - 18-Dec-17 @ 11:14 AM
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
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