Home detention curfew

Home Detention Curfew (HDC) allows some individuals sentenced to imprisonment to serve part of their prison sentence in the community, under strict licence conditions.

The main aim of HDC is to provide those leaving prison with a managed return to their communities, whilst subject to curfew conditions and electronic monitoring.

All individuals are assessed before a decision is made to release them on licence.

The Scottish Prison Service (SPS) makes decisions on behalf of Scottish Ministers about individuals who can be released on an HDC licence. In cases where someone is serving a long-term prison sentence, the Parole Board for Scotland must first recommend release on parole before SPS can make a decision about release on HDC.

HDC provides an opportunity to monitor an individuals's compliance with a release licence. They can be provided with additional support to continue their HDC period in the community, or be recalled to custody as appropriate.

A risk-assessment is always carried out before a final decision to release someone under HDC is made.

We have made improvements to the HDC system through the Management of Offenders (Scotland) Act 2019 following reports carried out by HM Inspectorate of Prisons in Scotland and HM Inspectorate of Constabulary for Scotland. These include a strengthened power of recall and the creation of an offence of remaining unlawfully at large.

Offence of remaining unlawfully at large

Prisoners who fail to comply with their licence conditions can be recalled to prison to serve the remainder of their sentence.

We have introduced a specific offence of remaining unlawfully at large in cases where a person does not return to custody when their licence has been revoked.

We have also provided the police with powers of entry and search to apprehend a person unlawfully at large.


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