Britain’s prison population is at its lowest in eight years thanks to new government rules which have boosted early releases by more than 50 percent in the last six months.
Ministry of Justice figures show that the number of inmates put on home detention curfew (HDC) has risen to 3,304 from 2,196 in January when ministers told prison guards to increase their use in order to free up space in overcrowded jails.
This increase was reported as the primary factor in the prison population falling more than 1,500 in six months to 82,694, which is the lowest figure since January 2010.
According to The Times, the Conservative government ordered release on HDC be made “the norm” for offenders serving sentences of three months to four years after it was found to in 2016 that only 21 percent of people eligible for the scheme were tagged and set free.
Report: Swap Prosecution for Therapy to Bring Down Ethnic Minority Prison Population https://t.co/RqpkVAVLfC
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 8, 2017
Introduced in 1999 as a method of dealing with overcrowding in jails, HDC allows prisoners to be released between two weeks and 120 days early depending on the length of their assessment, and sees them risk assessed, fitted with an electronic tag, and required to stay at home between 7pm and 7am.
“We want to see the prison population come down, but public safety is paramount and we will not set an arbitrary target to reduce it,” a Ministry of Justice spokesman said.
Reporting that ministers “have repeatedly said that they want the number of prisoners to fall and that sentences of a year or less should be a last resort”, The Times pointed out that the justice ministry estimates a new ‘upskirting’ criminal offence would see prison sentences handed out to seven people a year.
And changes unveiled by the Sentencing Council last month could see people convicted of promoting “hostility” online towards a group with “protected characteristics”, such as transgender people or a religion, given up to six years’ jail time.
Low Sentences for 'Twisted Tag Team' Who Raped Woman at Gunpoint Behind Mosque, in Alley and Her Own Home https://t.co/37EfL2F5e0
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 4, 2018
Meanwhile, earlier this year Breitbart London revealed how official new “equality guidelines” instruct judges to give preferential treatment to non-white defendants in order to “redress inequality” supposedly caused by living in a “racist society”, despite research revealing young white men to be Britain’s most disdained demographic.
The Judicial College’s updated Equal Treatment Guide, which now declares that “true equal treatment may not … always mean treating everyone in the same way”, was published a year after similar guidelines were issued by activist judges at the Sentencing Council.
Commenting on the changes, Dr David Green, a criminologist and director of the Civitas think tank, said: “The principle should be that the law is the same for everyone regardless of background, race or gender. This is a complete reversal of that.”