Government proposals to scrap automatic release of prisoners halfway through their sentences is today being discussed in parliament.
The proposed legislation, if successful, will apply to offenders who have committed serious violent and sexual offences, who have been sentenced to life imprisonment and given a fixed term of seven years or more. These prisoners will serve two-thirds of their sentence before being automatically released on licence. Potentially this will increase the current prison population by 2,000 over the next decade at a cost of £450 million.
InThe Times today, our Director, Richard Garside commented on the government's approach:
There are so many things a government serious about reducing violence and sexual offending could do. Filling up a few thousand more prison cells is not one of them.
To read more about the expansion of the criminal justice footprint, including initiatives which will increase the prison population, read Richard's post-election article.