People on a 'life licence' in Scotland: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

FOI reference: FOI/17/01984
Date received: 31 July 2017
Date responded: 29 August 2017

Information requested

You asked how many people are on a 'life licence' in Scotland.


While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested. This is because the Scottish Government does not hold 'real time' statistics concerning the number of people currently released on a life licence. However the Criminal Justice Social Work Statistics 2015-16, containing national level information on criminal justice social work activity in Scotland, provides a 'snapshot' of the number of people on a life-licence on 31 March 2016. It shows that there were 428 people in the community on a life licence on that day.

You may also wish to note that the Parole Board for Scotland publish a report each year which contains information relating life prisoners referred to the board for consideration (though not the total number of life sentence prisoners currently released on licence). This is available from their website at Scottish Parole Board Report

Reasons for not providing information

The Scottish Government does not have the information asked for.

This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at


Please quote the FOI reference

Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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