Release on temporary licence

Decisions on whether to grant ROTL are taken by the prison governor or a delegate (acting on behalf of the Secretary of State) following a risk assessment process, although some prisoners are expressly prohibited from getting ROTL. In practice, many prisons operate ROTL boards to which prisoners apply for temporary release. There are four main categories of ROTL:


1) Special purpose licence: Visits to dying relatives who are close family members; going to funerals of close family members; marriage or religious services; medical treatment – for as long as the hospital appointment or treatment lasts; going to court, tribunal or an inquiry.


2) Resettlement day release: Working out / taking part in community service projects or other things offenders have to do outside prison as part of their sentence to get ready for release; keeping in touch with family; training or education courses about life and work skills.


3) Resettlement overnight release: Similar to the day release, but also to spend time at the place the offender will be living once they are released from prison.


4) Childcare resettlement: For certain prisoners who are the only parent or carer for a child under 16

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