When Can a Prisoner Be Released on Tag

When Can a Prisoner Be Released on Tag

When Can a Prisoner Be Released on Tag? Understanding the criteria for when a prisoner can be released on tag, commonly known as Home Detention Curfew (HDC), is a crucial topic for both inmates and their families. This guide aims to provide comprehensive, UK-based information on the subject. Whether you’re looking for the eligibility requirements, the application process, or the rules surrounding electronic tagging, this article has you covered.

What is Home Detention Curfew (HDC)?

Home Detention Curfew (HDC) is a scheme in the United Kingdom that allows prisoners to be released from custody under strict conditions, monitored through an electronic tag. The program aims to assist with the prisoner’s reintegration into society while ensuring public safety.

When Can a Prisoner Be Released on Tag

Eligibility Criteria: Who Can Be Released on Tag?

Not every prisoner is eligible for HDC. The primary eligibility criteria include:

  1. Sentence Length: The sentence should be for a period between 3 months and 4 years. But not 4 years or over
  2. Time Served: The inmate must have served at least a quarter of their sentence.
  3. Risk Assessment: The prisoner must pass a risk assessment, showing they are a low risk to public safety.
  4. Suitable Accommodation: A stable and verified address must be provided for the duration of the HDC.

It’s worth noting that certain types of offences and offenders are automatically disqualified from HDC.

When Can a Prisoner Be Released on Tag

Application Process for HDC

Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of the application process:

  1. Initial Assessment: The prison staff conducts an initial assessment to determine eligibility.
  2. Full Review: If you pass the initial assessment, a full review including a risk assessment is conducted.
  3. Application Submission: Necessary documents and proof of address are submitted.
  4. Approval: The prison governor makes the final decision on the application.

Rules and Regulations: What Are the Terms of the Electronic Tagging?

The electronic tag typically goes around the ankle and works by sending signals to a monitoring unit. The key rules include:

  • Curfew Hours: You must be at your registered address during certain hours.
  • Scheduled Check-ins: Random checks may occur to ensure compliance.
  • No Tampering: Tampering with the electronic tag is a violation that could lead to re-imprisonment.

Penalties for Violation

Violating the terms of the HDC can lead to immediate revocation of the curfew and return to prison to serve the remaining sentence.


Understanding when a prisoner can be released on tag in the UK involves multiple factors like eligibility criteria, the application process, and stringent rules post-release. HDC serves as a way to help inmates reintegrate into society while maintaining public safety, but it’s not an option for everyone.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can prisoners serving life sentences be released on HDC?

No, prisoners serving life sentences are not eligible for HDC in the UK.

Is HDC available in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland?

Yes, HDC is available throughout the United Kingdom, but the rules and procedures may vary.

How long does the application process take?

The application process duration can vary, but it typically takes a few weeks.

When can a prisoner be released on tag