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Latest Politics: ‘Elephant in the room’ at Starmer’s first NATO summit – as allies stress support for Ukraine | Politics news

Overcrowding in Britain’s prisons is one of the domestic crises facing the new government, one which saw the previous Tory administration allow the early release of some prisoners.

Sir Keir Starmer had pressed Rishi Sunak to guarantee this would not include any high-risk prisoners – and has been asked if he can make the same promise now that he is prime minister.

Speaking on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Washington DC, the prime minister said: “We will be making a statement in relation to this in the coming days.”

Sir Keir said this would include the issue of “risk categories” and “what we intend to do about it”.

Thousands of inmates could be released early

It comes after Sky News reported that an announcement would be made in the coming days.

Sky News understands one of the key proposals being considered is a reduction in the automatic release point, from 50% of an inmate’s sentence to 40% or 43%.

At the moment, prisoners serving fixed standard sentences – those with fixed end dates – are released halfway through.

Once released, they serve their sentence on license – which means they are supervised by community corrections officers and must adhere to certain conditions.

Lowering the automatic release point could mean thousands of additional inmates are released early.

Mark Icke, president of the Prison Governors Association, said they welcomed the announcement.

He said: “We look forward to the Government announcing their proposed measures and are hopeful that it will be an approach that is clear and can be effectively delivered by staff in prisons and correctional services.

“We are hopeful that the punitive populism of the previous government is a thing of the past and that the new government is willing to invest in our service so that we can effectively protect the public by reducing the likelihood of reoffending by those in our prisons. and under supervision in society.”

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