Nearly 300 prisoners freed for Christmas


Around 290 prisoners, serving a variety of sentences for different offences, are being granted temporary release over the Christmas holidays.

The Department of Justice said this morning the majority of those being freed are either nearing the end of their sentences or serving short terms.

Those being freed have been vetted to ensure they provide no danger to the public. Other considerations, as well as compassionate and humanitarian ones, taken into account include the seriousness of the crimes committed, length of sentence served and previous record while on temporary release.

The periods range from a few hours to ten days, are a subject to stringent conditions.

A total of 295 prisoners were freed in 2001, 270 were released in 2000 and 303 availed of the decree the previous year.