Chester Debating Society © .

Chester Debating Society

Est 1902

Next Debate ……

Tuesday 28 November

“Prisoners should be granted

Christmas release”   


Life in prison is difficult - any deprivation of liberty is difficult even when prison conditions are reasonable. Christmas day within prisons is very much like any other day though often there will be a standard Christmas meal and slightly longer time allowed outside of cells. For many inmates - this time more than many can be emotionally difficult.

Most prisoners at some point will be released back into the community. It is generally accepted as an important part of any potential  rehabilitation that some contact with prisoners families is maintained and that there is some means of allowing a prisoner to start to re-adjust to life outside of prison.

For several years some prisoners have been granted release on temporary licence (rotl) to allow a few days at home over Christmas. This is sometimes (but not always) part of a process of preparing people for release. Unsurprisingly it is subject to stringent safeguards and a track record of previous good behaviour on temporary release. The scheme is usually restricted to Category D/Open prisons where inmates are assessed as relatively low risk.

Is this temporary release fair on the victims of crimes and their families? - Some of whom may not be able to enjoy Christmas as a result of the crimes the prisoner was convicted of .

It is not easy for prisoners to go home at Christmas - if they have been in prison for a long time they are  having to quickly switch mind sets and behaviours to a more "normal" life.

Is it right that people convicted of crimes are allowed temporary release from prison or should we adopt a hard line "if you can't do the time don't do the crime" approach?

Does this sort of temporary release scheme work - should more prisoners be allowed home at Christmas? What about people with a different faith or who have different "special" days - do these people have or should they have a rotl scheme?

This is the last debate before Christmas.

Timing : 7:00 p.m (Debate starts 7:15)

@ Quaker Meeting House, Union Walk, Frodsham Street, CHESTER CH1 3LF (above Brighthouse)

Refreshments available

Donations requested

Proposer: Rob Millington (CDS) )

Opposer: Katrina McKay (Slater Heelis Solicitors)

This house believes that ….