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More prisoners to be released early to reduce overcrowding

More prisoners to be released early to reduce overcrowding

The government will announce plans on Friday to release prisoners early to prevent prisons from filling up In England and WalesThe BBC confirmed.

Justice Minister Shabana Mahmood is expected to announce a series of urgent measures to free up space in prisons.

Government sources confirmed that the main measure would be to automatically release prisoners on “standard determinate sentences” after serving 40 percent of their sentences.

Currently, they are released after serving 50 percent of their sentences.

There will be exemptions for sexual and serious violent offenders.

In March, the then Conservative government It was announced There are plans to release detainees up to two months early to reduce overcrowding.

Speaking to the BBC’s Today Podcast, Former Justice Minister Alex Chalk said there were plans to release some prisoners after they had paid 40% of their sentences and send fewer people to prison in the first place, but those plans were shelved amid concerns about a lack of support in Parliament.

Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer is currently in Washington DC Trump, who attended the NATO summit, was asked by reporters what he had learned about the state of public spending since taking office.

“Some of what we found was shocking, not about finances but about prisons,” he said.

“It’s worse than I thought. I’m quite surprised they were allowed to get into that situation. It’s reckless to let them get into that place.”

Last week the Prison Governors Association, which represents 95% of prison governors in England and Wales, warned that prisons would run out of space in the next few days.

Alex Chalk, who served as Justice Minister until last week and remained in that position until his party lost power in the general election, told the Today podcast that one of the reasons for the overcrowding was the Covid pandemic, which led to delays in cases.

Chalk, who lost his seat in the general election, said more people should be given suspended sentences rather than prison sentences, saying prison sentences increase the likelihood of reoffending.

When asked why he didn’t implement it While in power, he said: “We must not forget that there are seasons in politics and, as we know, in the last Parliamentary term it was difficult to be confident that you could get things through Parliament.

“To put it bluntly, you have to win the votes.”

Asked if then-Chancellor Rishi Sunak had blocked the changes because MPs would not like them, Mr Chalk said he would not go into details of the closed-door discussions but said: “It is reasonable to say there was a range of views on what could be passed by parliament.”

He said the new Justice Minister Shabana Mahmood should be “very forthright and credible in the long term”.

He said early release of prisoners would buy the government “18 months”, adding: “It won’t buy you more than that.”

“If the situation is that we don’t have any new money, are you seriously going to say that instead of building a new hospital we’re going to build a new hospital at a cost of £600,000 per cell?” he added.

Labour has yet to say what it will do in the long term, but Sir Keir’s appointment of James Timpson as prisons minister suggests the party will change its approach.

Mr Timpson, the boss of a shoe repair chain that has a policy of hiring ex-offenders, told Channel 4 in an interview earlier this year that “we are addicted to punishment” and that only a third of prisoners should be there.

A measure has come into force in Scotland that will see the release of 550 prisoners with less than six months left on their sentences.

But this extendable This will also include those who have served two-thirds of their sentences.

Last year the Scottish Parliament sponsored a bill Aiming to reduce the prison population by ensuring people are detained only as a last resort

Justice Secretary Angela Constance said the bill would help tackle Scotland’s historically high imprisonment rate, but some victims’ groups expressed concern the bill could lead to repeat offenders being released on bail.