Early prison release scheme 'shambolic'

Posted by
Wednesday 8 May 2024
GMB Trade Union - Early prison release scheme 'shambolic'

A prisoner release scheme which could see many inmates released months early has been branded ‘shambolic

From 23 May, certain prisoners across 84 jails in England and Wales will be eligible for early release - up to 70 days prior to the end of their sentence.

The scheme is an extension of the End of Custody Supervised License (ECSL) which was launched last year to ease the capacity crisis which has seen the prison population soar to nearly 88,000.

GMB Union and the Senior and Chief Officers of Probation (SCOOP) have long criticised the scheme.

George Georgiou, GMB National Officer representing SCOOP, said:

“This is nothing but short-term thinking from the Government.

"We have repeatedly pointed out if you are going to put more people in prison for longer you will need more prisons – otherwise when the prisons get full you will have to release prisoners into the community and there simply aren't enough Probation Staff to supervise them.

"We have a workforce crisis in probation with ridiculously high vacancy rates, staff shortages and pay not keeping up with inflation.

"This shambolic ECSL scheme is an unmitigated failure and has not only been extended without Parliamentary scrutiny but represents an increasing risk to public safety.”

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