Emergency Early Release

Victim Support Scotland can help you find out if the prisoner in your case will be released as part of Emergency Early Release regulations announced in June 2024.

14 June, 2024

The best way to get in touch with Victim Support Scotland is to call our national helpline on:

0800 160 1985

Victim Support Scotland helpline

Our trained helpline volunteers will then ask a series of questions to take you through this process.

Importantly, we will ask you to confirm that you are happy to share your information with us, and that you give us explicit consent to find out this information on your behalf.

It is helpful if you can please try to have the following information available:

  • If you are currently registered with the Victim Notification Scheme
  • The name of the offender
  • The length of the sentence (if known)
  • The Procurator Fiscal (PF) reference number applicable to the conviction resulting in custodial sentence (if known)

You do not have to be receiving support from Victim Support Scotland for Victim Support Scotland to be able to assist you.

Other places that can help you are:

Children 1st:
Rape Crisis Scotland:

You can find out more from Scottish Prison Service website:

Emergency Early Release | Scottish Prison Service (

What is Emergency Early Release?

Emergency Early Release has been put in place due to overcrowding currently experienced in prisons in Scotland that requires emergency action.

MSPs have approved regulations so that 550 prisoners who are currently nearing the end of their sentence will be released.

Releases will take place weekly over a four-week period starting from Wednesday 26 June until Thursday 18 July.

Any eligible prisoner whose release is not completed within this timescale, will be released as soon as practical thereafter, but no later than Thursday 25 July 2024.


Eligibility criteria

Who might be released?

Prisoners serving a sentence of less than four years and who are due to be released within 180 days – approximately 6 months – of the regulations coming into force on 13 June 2024 can be considered for release.


Who will not be released?

Prisoners with the following criteria will not be considered for Emergency Early Release:

Prisoners serving sentences following conviction under

  • Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm (Scotland) Act 2016 (2016 Act),
  • Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 (2018 Act),
  • Domestic Abuse (protection) (Scotland) Act 2021 (the 2021 Act)
  • Life sentence including lifelong restriction orders.

Remand Prisoners

Terrorist Offence Prisoners

Individuals liable for removal from the UK or subject to extradition

Prisoners subject to

  • extended sentences,
  • supervised release orders,
  • sex offenders’ notification requirements,
  • Non-Harassment Orders

Anyone who has previously served a sentence of imprisonment following conviction under the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 (2018 Act), or an offence aggravated under the Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm (Scotland) Act 2016 (2016 Act), will also be automatically prevented from being released, provided their conviction is not spent.

You can find more information about this on:

The Early Release of Prisoners and Prescribed Victim Supporters (Scotland) Regulations 2024