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UK: Early release to be scrapped for violent and sexual offenders

Serious violent and sexual offenders will no longer automatically be released halfway through their sentences under government plans introduced on Wednesday.

A greater focus has been placed on automatic release since last November’s London Bridge attack, which was carried out by a convicted terrorist out on licence.

Justice secretary Robert Bucklandwas forced on Tuesday to deny the government was politicising the atrocity by proposing measures that place a greater focus on lengthy jail terms than on other approaches.

Under the previously announced plans being formally introduced into parliament on Wednesday, those convicted of crimes such as rape, manslaughter and causing grievous bodily harm will instead have to spend two-thirds of their sentence in prison before they can be freed on licence.

MPs will debate the two Statutory Instruments – the Release of Prisoners (Alteration of Relevant Proportion of Sentence) Order 2019 and the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 (Consequential Amendment) Regulations Order 2019. The first changes the release point for those serving standard determinate sentences of seven years or more for offences where the maximum sentence is life to the two-thirds point. The second ensures the changes apply to those serving consecutive sentences. read more

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