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Tortious Liability for Released Detainees

NCJ Number
Howard Journal of Criminal Justice Volume: 50 Issue: 1 Dated: February 2011 Pages: 52-61
Raymond Youngs
Date Published
February 2011
10 pages
This article examines the problem of liability regarding detainees released from prison who subsequently commit additional crimes.
The possibility of early release from custody is a necessary and integral part of the current English system of detention. An applicant for early release has certain rights to contest a refusal, but a victim of a crime by the released detainee is unlikely to have a claim against the institution responsible. If only the crime and not the victim could reasonably have been foreseen, the institution is not civilly liable in negligence, although it might be under misfeasance in public office. But the European Court of Human Rights appears to consider that Article 2 of the Human Rights Convention requires such liability; and a German case allowed it, despite German law having previously taken a position similar to the English law of negligence. It is argued that English law ought to adopt the same approach. References (Published Abstract)