From 1st April 2009, this sentence has become available to the Northern Ireland Courts. The Judge will fix a period of time which must be spent in custody as well as a period on licence. The custody element of the sentence cannot be greater than half of the overall sentence. Prisoners are released on licence at the end of their custodial period without reference to PCNI.
During the licence period an offender is liable to recall to custody if they breach their licence conditions. If recalled, an offender may have to serve the rest of their sentence in custody. All recalls are reviewed by the PCNI who can re-release an offender before the end of the licence period if it is appropriate to do so.