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Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012

Section 111 and Schedule 14: Prisoners serving less than 12 months

550.Section 111 provides for prisoners serving sentences of less than 12 months to be released unconditionally at the half way point. It does so by inserting a new section 243A into the 2003 Act. This replicates the corresponding provision in the Criminal Justice Act 1991 (“the 1991 Act”). In effect, it replaces the provisions for release of those serving sentences of less than 12 months (section 181: custody plus) originally provided for in the 2003 Act.

551.Section 111 introduces Schedule 14 which makes consequential amendments in relation to the new section 243A to ensure that the new provision works with the existing release and recall scheme in Chapter 6 of Part 12 of the 2003 Act.

552.Paragraph 14 of the Schedule provides that consecutive sentences which add up to 12 months or more are to be treated as a single sentence of 12 months or more. This means that where a sentence of less than 12 months is served consecutively with another sentence and either (i) the other sentence is 12 months or more, or (ii) the two sentences add up to 12 months or more, then release for the sentence of less than 12 months would be on licence for the remainder of the sentence. However, where consecutive sentences add up to less than 12 months, release will be unconditional.

553.Sentences of less than 12 months were previously all dealt with under the the 1991 Act (by virtue of transitional provisions, this remained the case even after the 2003 Act was brought into force). Paragraph 17 of the Schedule removes those transitional provisions, so that from the commencement of Chapter 4 such sentences are dealt with under the 2003 Act.

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