Detainees are released or transferred from court custody promptly and safely.

Release and transfer arrangements

5.1 Arrangements are in place for ensuring detainees are safely released or transferred, without delay.


  • Staff conduct good quality pre-release risk assessments in the presence of the detainee. These are documented and identify and mitigate any risks and vulnerability throughout a detainee’s period of detention. Action is taken to reduce any risks and welfare concerns prior to release.
  • Detainees with caring responsibilities are able to make a telephone call to dependants to organise care if this is not yet in place.
  • Appropriate relevant information about risk, vulnerability, health or safeguarding is communicated confidentially to relevant agencies and support organisations.
  • Vulnerable detainees and children are released safely and detainees who lack the means to return home receive appropriate assistance.
  • The transfer or release of detainees is not delayed unnecessarily.
  • Detainees who have travelled from prison, who are directed by the court to be released, are released without undue delay.
  • There is up-to-date information, including contact details, for support organisations, and this is provided to detainees in a format and language they can easily understand.
  • Warrants of further detention to support transfer to custodial establishments are issued in a timely manner.
  • Detainees are given information, in a format they can understand, about the place to which they are being transferred.
  • The transfer of children remanded or sentenced to remain in custody is prioritised and timely, and takes place in appropriate vehicles.
  • Detainees who are being transferred to another custody facility are escorted safely and with consideration to their individual needs. Person escort records are completed clearly and accurately and include all relevant details, especially any issues relating to risk or self-harm. Any health information is shared confidentially.

Human rights standards
In relation to expectation 5.1: Human rights standards require consideration be given to a detainee’s need for assistance on release, including health needs. Release must occur without undue delay to ensure that detention is for the shortest possible duration. Detainees being transferred must be told where they are going. See ECHR 2, 3, 5, 6, 8; ICCPR 9, 10(1), 14; ICESCR 12; EPR 14, 33, 39; BOP 1, 13, 16, 31, 36, 37, 38, 39; PME 1. In relation to children specifically see CRC 3, 24(1), 37; HR 17, 20. See also standards relating to the transfer of prisoners (expectation 2.1).