Prisoners waiting to move to open conditions gain ROTL victory

One of PAS’s clients, D, serving a mandatory life sentence, had been waiting for a transfer to open conditions since his approval for

this transfer in mid-2011. PAS represented him in the matter of his application for Release on Temporary Licence (ROTL), while he awaited the transfer.

This application was denied by the prison, and so PAS sought to judicially review this decision, arguing that either D should not suffer a delay in moving to open conditions, or that he should be considered for ROTL immediately. Permission was granted to go to a full hearing.

Following this, government ministers agreed that the ROTL policy in this situation could be relaxed, to allow prison governors in the closed estate to assess and, where appropriate, release on temporary licence, those Indeterminate Sentence Prisoners whom they had approved transfer to open conditions.