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What does being ‘on licence’ mean? Task

Being released ‘on licence’ means that you’re freed from prison before your sentence is complete, but you must stick to a set of rules for the rest of your sentence. These rules are known as the licence conditions.  

The aim of a period on licence is to protect the public, to prevent you from re-offending, and to help you settle back into the community. The licence conditions are not a form of punishment, so they must be fair and necessary. 

You will be expected to follow a set of conditions: 

  • Behave well and do not question the purpose of the licence period  
  • Do not commit any offence 
  • Keep in touch with your supervising officer according to their instructions 
  • Be visited by the supervising officer following their instructions 
  • Stay at an address which you have agreed with your supervising officer and ask for their permission before any stay of one or more nights at a different address 
  • Do not work, or do a particular type of work, unless it is approved by your supervising officer  
  • Let your supervising officer know in advance of any specific types of work 
  • Do not travel outside the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man except with the prior permission of your supervising officer or for the purposes of immigration deportation or removal

You may be expected to follow a set of further conditions: 

  • Live at a specific place 
  • Not live somewhere you’re not allowed to (restriction of residency) 
  • Not contact a specific person or people 
  • Cooperate with or participate in a set of activities 
  • Not do certain activities  
  • Be at home by a certain time of the day (curfew) 
  • Not have certain documents or items you’re not allowed to have 
  • Tell your officer specific information such as if you open a bank account 
  • Not gplaces that are off-limits 
  • Help your officer check up on you 

You should be given a supervising probation officer who will check in with you when you’re released from prison. They must make sure that a first meeting is arranged for the day of release (or the next working day). 

Your supervising probation officer will give you the rules, or licence conditions, you will need to follow. 

It’s important to know that you can be sent back to prison if you break these rules. 

The licence remains lawful whether you sign it or not 

If you refuse to sign it, the licence officer will sign to confirm the conditions have been read out and explained. A copy is given to you on release and further copies are kept on your records at the prison and sent to the police.