Christmas home leave granted to 93 prisoners

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The Prison Service has granted 93 prisoners Christmas Home Leave, it has been revealed.

Their periods of temporary release have been granted for a range of periods from 23 December to 3 January, according to a statement by the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Conditions have been placed on all successful applicants.

Thirty five are being released from Magilligan Prison and 51 from Maghaberry Prison. Four young men and three women are being released from Hydebank Wood College.

All prisoners granted Christmas Home Leave have been the subject of a satisfactory risk assessment and have either successfully completed a home leave programme or undergone periods of unaccompanied testing in the community, DOJ said.

The Prison Service will not be providing information in relation to individual prisoners, it added.

To be eligible for Christmas Home Leave prisoners must meet a range of conditions, depending on their category. This may include having completed a certain proportion of their sentence, be recommended by Parole Commissioners and have previously completed overnight unaccompanied pre-release leave.

Christmas home leave is available for Life Sentence Prisoners or Indeterminate Custodial Sentence prisoners, Extended Custodial Sentence Prisoners, recalled prisoners and other categories.

Remand prisoners are not eligible.

As of this morning, 1,445 prisoners were being held in prisons in Northern Ireland.