Prisoners to be released early to ease overcrowding

by | Jul 11, 2024 | Politics

The government will announce plans on Friday to release prisoners early to stop jails becoming full, the BBC has confirmed.Justice Secretary Shabana Mahmood is expected to set out a suite of emergency measures to free up space in prisons.The main measure will be automatically releasing prisoners on “standard determinate sentences” after they have served 40% of their sentence, government sources confirmed. Currently, they are released after serving 50% of their sentence.There will be exemptions for sexual and serious violent offenders.Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer, currently in Washington DC attending a Nato summit, was asked by reporters what he had discovered about the state of public spending now he’s in office.“Some of what we’ve found is shocking, not so much about the finances, but I have to say, on prisons,” he said.“The situation is worse than I thought it was. I’m pretty shocked that it’s been allowed to get into that situation. It’s reckless to allow them to get into that place.”Last week the Prison Governors’ Association, which represents 95% of prison governors in England and Wales, warned that jails were due to run out of space within days.Speaking to the The Today Podcast, Alex Chalk, who was justice secretary until just last week, when his party lost power in the general election, said one of the reasons behind overcrowding was the Covid pandemic, which saw court cases delayed.He said the “remorseless arithmetic logic” was that the numbers awaiting trial while in custody rose from 9,000 to 16,000 during the pandemic.releasing prisoners early would buy the government “18 months” but added: “It won’t buy you any more than that.”He said the new Justice Secretary Shabana Mahmood would have to be “very frank and credible about the long term”. “If the situation is that we haven’t got new money, are you seriously going to be saying tha …

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[mwai_chat context=”Let’s have a discussion about this article:nnThe government will announce plans on Friday to release prisoners early to stop jails becoming full, the BBC has confirmed.Justice Secretary Shabana Mahmood is expected to set out a suite of emergency measures to free up space in prisons.The main measure will be automatically releasing prisoners on “standard determinate sentences” after they have served 40% of their sentence, government sources confirmed. Currently, they are released after serving 50% of their sentence.There will be exemptions for sexual and serious violent offenders.Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer, currently in Washington DC attending a Nato summit, was asked by reporters what he had discovered about the state of public spending now he’s in office.“Some of what we’ve found is shocking, not so much about the finances, but I have to say, on prisons,” he said.“The situation is worse than I thought it was. I’m pretty shocked that it’s been allowed to get into that situation. It’s reckless to allow them to get into that place.”Last week the Prison Governors’ Association, which represents 95% of prison governors in England and Wales, warned that jails were due to run out of space within days.Speaking to the The Today Podcast, Alex Chalk, who was justice secretary until just last week, when his party lost power in the general election, said one of the reasons behind overcrowding was the Covid pandemic, which saw court cases delayed.He said the “remorseless arithmetic logic” was that the numbers awaiting trial while in custody rose from 9,000 to 16,000 during the pandemic.releasing prisoners early would buy the government “18 months” but added: “It won’t buy you any more than that.”He said the new Justice Secretary Shabana Mahmood would have to be “very frank and credible about the long term”. “If the situation is that we haven’t got new money, are you seriously going to be saying tha …nnDiscussion:nn” ai_name=”RocketNews AI: ” start_sentence=”Can I tell you more about this article?” text_input_placeholder=”Type ‘Yes'”]
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