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Determinate prison sentences

The licence will include conditions. If an offender breaches their conditions, they may be sent back to prison.

A determinate prison sentence is where the court sets a fixed length for the prison sentence and is the most common type of prison sentence. For example, an offender may be sentenced to four years in prison. This is the maximum period of time the offender could spend in prison. However, the offender will not necessarily spend the whole of this time in prison.

For sentences under a year, an offender will be automatically released after serving half their sentence. They are under no positive obligations for the rest of the sentence although, if they commit a further offence during this time, the unexpired part of the sentence could be added to any new sentence imposed.

For sentences of a year or more, an offender will serve half their sentence in prison and serve the rest of the sentence in the community on licence.  While on licence an offender will be subject to supervision and the licence will include conditions. If an offender breaches their conditions, they may be sent back to prison to serve the remainder of the sentence there.

Offenders serving sentences of between three months and four years, with certain exceptions for violent and sexual offenders, may also be eligible for release on a home detention curfew (HDC). This allows an offender to be released up to 135 days before their automatic release date. The offender will be electronically tagged and a curfew imposed. If the offender breaches the curfew they can be recalled to prison.