Is the sentence given in court the time they will serve in prison?

The sentence expiry date (the date on which it ends) is calculated from the date the sentence is given. All custodial sentences (apart from life sentences) include time served in prison and time served in the community, so the person will not be in prison for the whole of the sentence.

Types of prison sentences

How much time will they spend in prison? 

For offences committed after April 4 2005 the prisoner will be released at the halfway mark of their sentence regardless of its length and is on license until the sentence expiry date, unless they have received:

  • A life sentence.
  • Indeterminate sentence for public protection.
  • Extended sentence for public protection.

What else might effect the amount of time served in prison?

Time spent on remand may be deducted from the time spent in prison but time spent in police custody will not. If a prisoner breaks prison rules they may receive additional days in prison, meaning that their release or parole eligibility will be put back. 

To find out more about sentencing please click here.