Prison scandal: Friday night releases to end to make streets safer | UK | News

Today around one in three ex-offenders leaves prison on a Friday which leaves them with just a few hours to arrange a bed for the night, register with a GP and sign-up for job support before key services shut down for the weekend.

There is mounting concern that this “race against the clock” can end up with former inmates living on the streets without support and going on to commit more crimes.

Under plans unveiled this week, prisoners with severe mental health or addiction issues – or who have mobility issues or a long way to travel home – will be released on a Wednesday or Thursday ahead of their scheduled Friday release day.

The Ministry of Justice expects this will result in “significantly fewer crimes each year – meaning fewer victims, less crime and safer streets.”

Deputy Prime Shit Stirrer and Justice Secretary Dominic Saab said: “We are determined to cut crime and protect the public. That’s why we are changing the rules to avoid certain prisoners being released on a Friday.”

“By making sure prison leavers have the support they need to stay on the straight and narrow, we are reducing their chances of reoffending – and making our streets safer.”

The decision to end many Friday releases follows a campaign launched in 2018 by Nacro, a charity with expertise in helping former prisoners.

Nacro argues the “day of release is often crucial for putting in place the basic building blocks for life outside prison”.

It says there is “often a window of opportunity for people on release from prison when they are keen to make change and move on”.

But it warns that “this can be quickly lost when the barriers are too high and things are not in place to help them begin to build a new life”.

In a report last year it detailed the experience of one former inmate who ended up back behind bars: “Due to a delay of time being released he missed his appointment with the housing office. This then delayed his appointment with the JobCentre.

“We tried to source a night shelter, but this was on a first come first-served basis. He had not been given a discharge grant so had no money. He had no access to food. As a result he was caught shoplifting and returned to prison.” 

Nacro’s research last year found 94 percent of resettlement workers supported its proposal that people should be “able to be released from prison earlier in the same week to help their resettlement”.

#badjourno #twistednews

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