Home > The Justice Process > Court: Recall on Licence

Court: Recall on Licence

By: Lorna Elliott LLB (hons), Barrister - Updated: 4 Nov 2023 |
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.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
My brother got released 5 weeks ago. He was on licence for 2 year. Another person managed to get his number who was also on licence and contacted him. My brother always answers calls even if the number is not kwown due to various appointments from social work. He got re called last night due to this. Can their be anything done ? He was unaware that it was the other boy calling and answered as thought it could have been an appointment how can they recall him when it wasn’t his fault ??
Cc - 4-Nov-23 @ 5:46 PM
My brother was released on license and then false allegations were made against him but he was bailed through lack of evidence. He had CCTV footage to prove it couldn’t have been him yet the police never bothered to view it. He then attended his probation the week after he was bailed only for them to recall him even though there was no evidence and he had evidence to prove his innocence. My brother died the following week as no one believed him and he went on a massive drinking session and collapsed and died. I am so angry that his evidence was never looked at and wondered can probation just recall with no evidence and just hear say? The judge would never of bailed if there was evidence. What’s more alarming is 3 days after his death his solicitor called to say the CPS had dropped the charges through lack of evidence, his solicitor didn’t know he had died either.
Footychick11 - 28-Sep-23 @ 9:52 PM
I have been released from prison on 12 months license I am in a AP hostel I am fitted with a drinking alcohol tag monitor my probation officer told me I could drink then when I had a drink she told me I drank too much and give me a written warning not a verbal warning I think my probation officer is try and her best to get me recalled is there anything I could do about this
Big blue - 29-Jul-23 @ 9:28 PM
I have a recall to prison for a breach on the 22nd of December which my probation officer contacted me and text me saying don't worry there is no recall she cancelled thepolice warrant the police also called me to let me know the warrant had been cancelled my tag was then removed in January as the order had ended then four months later the ppcs contact probation advising them I still have an outstanding recall warrant after I had been told this was all council and nothing to worry about by HDC tag and probation now I am now trying to get a court hearing but cannot seem to get any help from anybody I would appreciate any advice and help thanks Dean
Deano84 - 5-May-23 @ 7:46 AM
My partner should be released on medicalterms as his daughter and son is not well and need both parents not one but two please can my parter be released from prison early as me and Ben and Sam needs him and me I was trying to make my rehearsal work and it was going OK until the police came and someone grassed him up for being in his own home from sharonZOT
Gladies - 14-Mar-23 @ 1:59 PM
My boyfriend was recalled last June and has heard nothing for when he will get a parole hearing. He got recalled for abh but there was no further action taken due to lack of evidence. Now I'm debating whether he is lying to me znd he knows how long he is serving
Tracy - 8-Mar-23 @ 9:37 AM
My boyfriend has been recalled. He was handed his recall papers by omu who told him he was on standard recall, however his papers state fixed term recall. Surely she’s made a mistake? If his papers state fixed then that’s what it will be???
Jess - 10-Feb-23 @ 11:02 AM
Hi police came and got my boyfriend he has been recalled will he go to court first
Bell - 28-Jan-23 @ 4:53 AM
Hi I have been recalled and handing myself in tomorrow. My probation officer had said it’s a fixed term 28 day recall but a lot of people are telling me that this no longer applies. Is this true , the recall is what it is but I want to know exactly what I’m dealing with
Chris - 8-Jan-23 @ 5:38 PM
My boyfriend should if gone to a bail hostelon the 15th December but didn't go and he was wanted by the police but after a week the police founded him he is licence for 12 will he have to stay in until his licence expires
Rachel - 27-Dec-22 @ 7:56 PM
I was given 15 months and 15 months to run concurrent, I got out on tag completed it no problem I'm on probation till next year. But was arrested for a crime commited a year before I was in prison or released on probation can I get recalled as I was charged
Yt - 11-Dec-22 @ 9:00 PM
Hello my partner has been out of prison for a year on license but we had a argument and I rang the police on him cause he pushed me will he get re called for this or not he's only got 4 months of being on license left??
Cookie97 - 2-Sep-22 @ 4:32 PM
My friend got day release while on remand. Tagged up. Returned 20 min after curfew very drunk after partying with family not seen in years. Will she get a recall. It was harmless and there was good reason
Slobbery - 29-Aug-22 @ 2:07 PM
If you have been recalled back to jail for drug offences, and you have been given a 45 month sentence on top of your 28 recall, are you eligible for tag?
A - 13-Oct-21 @ 4:34 PM
Hi I have been out from prison for a few months but I got caught driving with no valid insurance and provisional license ,can I get recalled for that traffic offenses?
Ali - 29-Sep-21 @ 5:17 PM
My partner is on licence for GBH he served 3 years and has been out 5 months, he’s been in trouble once for driving a car with no insurance but he’s been locked up for a public order arguing with one of the neighbours for her son assaulting my daughter, do you think he will get recalled for his full 3 years or just 28 days? Am worried sick
Jenn - 19-Sep-21 @ 2:41 AM
I was recalled back to prison during the pandemic when I was shielding my probation worker was persistent by making mme go in the office I missed this appointment and contacted her straight away and wasn't able to get hold of her till20 DTS LATER.. I didn't have any other warnings or letters nothing stating any warning through all of my 2years spent on licence nor did I have any proof for that mauiet I had been recalled in till 20days later.. I've been on the run since March know and after 5lonh years I finally have don'tmy time what will happen know then regarding my re
Caz - 26-Jul-21 @ 8:06 AM
What will happen if ur in prison for allagetion then not charged after 28 days and on recall but probation says he's not being recalled as the allegations weren't true. When will he be let out and why is he still in jail after 28 days
Boo - 24-Jul-21 @ 9:42 PM
What will happen to my son if he goes abroad while on license? Will he get a full recall?
Sue - 21-Jul-21 @ 9:02 AM
My husband got recalled in march 2021, for drug offences but all charges have been dropped found out 2 weeks ago. His licence expires 30th September 21. Will he have to do his full sentence or will it go to oral hearing or can he get re released if probation service are supporting his release?
Aggie - 20-Jul-21 @ 5:02 PM
My cousin has been kicked out of the house he’s got the licence to. My uncles fiancé has kicked them both out he’s came to stay with me he phoned his probation officer straight away. And they said he’ll more then likely be recalled? Is that right he can’t help being kicked out at all!!
Kt - 24-Jun-21 @ 6:57 PM
one question ? If you get arrested while on license but you are not charged and are on bail, will you get recall? Also do you have to tell your probation officer straight away that you get arrested or you just wait until you have your appointment with her. Will she or he know about this the moment that you get arrested or not?
choks - 3-Jun-21 @ 12:45 AM
My husband got recalled to prison for 28 days which we got told it was 28days over substance use. My family made allegations up against him which I made clear was false is it possible for him to serve the rest off his sentence or the 28days we got told. He would serve?
Ell - 23-May-21 @ 10:07 PM
My husband was on licence and a curphew tag. He got recalled back to prison over allegations what My family Had made against him which were false I told the police this but they still recalled him. his probation said he was recalled over substance use for 28days is it likely that he will serve the rest off his license or just the 28days??
Ell - 23-May-21 @ 10:05 PM
SECURITY - 12-Apr-21 @ 6:00 PM
My partner got recalled for public order and common assault on me witch was lies neighbor's claimed they seen him hurt me. They put in a statement and now he has been recalled I told the police that these were false allegations but he still ended up being recalled even though he was on licence for a driving offence
Loz - 8-Apr-21 @ 4:07 PM
My other half was on tag and got arrested and was remanded for something that they was investigating his solicitor wil try for another bail application to get him out with surety etc but I’m scared because his already on tag so what are the chances of him getting bail
Jenny - 7-Mar-21 @ 12:50 PM
My son went to his exs and was arrestedfor trying to breakand entry will he be recalled
Trace - 27-Feb-21 @ 3:14 PM
My son has gone round his ex girlfriends and was arrestedfor trying to break and entrywill he be recalled
Tracey - 27-Feb-21 @ 3:12 PM
My partner was recalled because someone accused of a crime.However charges were dropped as they admitted they lied.however cause of recall.He has to go back to prision then to be realised again.The system is gone to the dogs
Queenie - 25-Feb-21 @ 1:28 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Sprogs
    Re: What Will Happen if I Don't Turn Up at Court?
    What happens if you don't turn up for a court hearing.. On the 10/04/2024 I attended a court hearing at…
    11 April 2024
  • Shem
    Re: Probation and Community Sentencing
    I've been asking to move office for the last 3 months. My probation office has refused to move me.ive served 2 years on…
    21 March 2024
  • P1P
    Re: Information About Parole Board Hearings
    My son had his parole hearing on 22nd Feb2024, he was granted release, he was told he would be released after a…
    6 March 2024
  • Loger
    Re: Probation and Community Sentencing
    I finished my order in January I am up for breach in April now my order is finished do I have to still attend probation…
    5 March 2024
  • social-issues
    Re: Pre-Sentence Reports
    Hello hk, I can't see what the problem is, unless the subject is planning to be unavailable. If what you are saying is that the Probation…
    28 February 2024
  • Paul778883
    Re: Failure to Attend Jury Service
    I would just ignore the letter. Bin it then if if it does hit the fan just say you never knew. Even then if they call me in I…
    21 February 2024
  • Kim
    Re: Make a Claim in the Small Claims Court
    Elderly parents got a builders quote for works. Agree to price, builder said half up front in cash for materials,…
    15 February 2024
  • Tonks
    Re: What Will Happen if I Don't Turn Up at Court?
    My partner is in court in Birmingham Crown in June CPS have ordered me to court on this date I've with drawn…
    10 February 2024
  • Jasica
    Re: Handling a Divorce
    Hello I need all kinds of help. But I don't know English so I am going through difficult times. Because I am very weak physically and…
    5 February 2024
  • Jasica
    Re: Handling a Divorce
    Hello I need all kinds of help. But I don't know English so I am going through difficult times. Because I am very weak physically and…
    5 February 2024