Releases in error

A prisoner is released in error if they are wrongly discharged from a prison or court when they should have remained in custody, where the prisoner has not deliberately played a part in the error (i.e. the prisoner had no intent of escaping).

Examples include misplaced warrants for imprisonment or remand, recall notices not acted upon, sentence miscalculation or discharging the wrong person on escort.

The data source for this measure is HM prison and probation service annual digest.



  • Data is not always available for, or applicable to, every prison; and the list of prisons will vary year on year due to closures and newly opened establishments;
  • Prison functions (Male Local etc.) refer to the function of the prison in the most recent year shown. The function of a prison may have been different in previous years;
  • A small number of prisons which are listed separately in the above table are physically co-located and cannot be distinguished on the map;
  • Contains OS data © Crown copyright and database right 2022;
  • Contains Royal Mail data © Royal Mail copyright and database right 2022;
  • The markers on the map are indicative only. For further information on a prison, or for details of a prison's location, please consult the Ministry of Justice prison finder.