It is of course not only discretionary lifers who are detained against their wishes. The same is true of all prisoners, and in this chapter we will seek to describe the procedures which are followed before other long-term prisoners are released, as well as the procedures which are followed before those sentenced to a mandatory life sentence for murder, and those who have been detained against their will in mental hospitals, are released. Until the introduction of the DLP in 1992, all life sentence prisoners had been dealt with in a similar fashion. Since then the Home Secretary has retained the right to decide on the release of mandatory lifers. Until 1983 the Home Secretary also had the power to release, or to refuse to release, mentally abnormal offenders, but after an adverse decision of the European Court of Human Rights, this power was transferred to a new tribunal, the Mental Health Review Tribunal, by the Mental Health Act 1983. These Tribunals were in some sense, as we have seen,1 the model for the DLP. Both systems will be described and compared. But let us start with a short description of the process which underlies the release of those facing long determinate sentences.