Hello, I am a solicitor with 20 years experience. I will try to answer this for you.
Your son should have been given written advice on the merits of an appeal by his solicitor at the end of the case. |Do you know what that said?
The license release date will usualy beset half way through the sentence. However,
Home Detention Curfew / Electronic Tagging
HDC, or release on tag, is the system by which you are released early and fitted with an electronic tag around your ankle to monitor your adherence to a specified curfew. You will be required to stay at your chosen address, normally for 12 hours each day (overnight), and a machine will be installed in your house which is able to verify whether the tag (and you) are within range.
A release on tag is available to prisoners with sentences between 3 months and 4 years and the eligible date for it is the later of 25% of the way through your sentence (equivalent to 50% of the way through your expected time in prison otherwise) and 4 months before 50% of your sentence. Ie 14 months in your son's case
The process for getting a release on tag approved involves two key components:
- A risk assessment in prison (some paperwork and usually sitting before a board)
- An assessment by the probation service of the address you are proposing to serve your curfew and any risk you may pose to others at that address.
The timing of your risk assessment is somewhat out of your control, but having your paperwork complete will ensure that you are not responsible for any delay. Each case will usually be dealt with in chronological order of eligibility date, and so if the prison is behind (which it frequently can be by up to a month) you will just have to wait. Be prepared for this and try not to let it distress you. It is worth making sure you have all the details of your sentence with you in prison along with anything which will help your case (for example, if you have a job to go to on release, then a letter from your employer is probably the most useful thing).
Assessment of the Curfew Address
In terms of making sure your address is suitable, it will help if someone at that address is able to liaise with your parole officer (and they should keep calling them rather than waiting to be contacted) and offer times for a visit to check its suitability and interview everyone at the address. If there is any violence in your history or in the crime you are inside for, be prepared to deal with issues around risk to other people there, especially if there are children (even your own). This could mean you need to get social services to do an assessment of the risk to children as well – if this is going to be necessary you should find out early otherwise it could eat up weeks, a large portion of your potential early release.
If he applies after 9 months will be risk assessed and can only be turned down for one of the five following reasons:
- he presents an unacceptable risk to the victim or to members of the public
- he has a pattern of offending which indicates a likelihood of re-offending during the Home Detention Curfew period
- has is a likelihood of failure to comply with the conditions of the curfew
- There is a lack of suitable accommodation for HDC
- The potential curfew would be too short
He can appeal against any refusal of tag if you do not believe the reasons fall in one of those above, but remember that he is the prison’s responsibility whilst out on tag, and so they are understandably nervous about any repercussions of an incorrect decision.
So, after 14 ,months he can apply to the prison for early release on tag.