On 16 October 2023 we announced measures to reform our prison system.
•The worst offenders should be locked away for as long as it takes to protect the public. As it standst he prison population is the greatest it has ever been, in part due to longer, tougher sentences.
•That is why we are embarking on the largest expansion to the prison estate since the Victorian era,doubling up cells where it safe to do so, deporting more foreign criminals, andreforming the justice system to keep the most dangerous criminals behind bars while giving the lowest risk offenders apath away from a life of crime.
•These measures are part of our long-term changes to the justice systemto keep the public safe whilst delivering value for taxpayers’ who fund the prison system. We are reforming the prison system by:
•Building 20,000 new prison places as part of the largest prison building programme since the Victorian era, to deliver justice and keep Britain safe. We are rightly ensuring offenders that do not comply with their licence conditions are returned to prison, which is why we are building 20,000 modern,rehabilitative prison places – the largest prison building programme since the Victorian era.
•Bringing forward legislation to keep the most serious sexual offenders behind bars for the entirety of their sentences, keeping the public safe. We have ended automatic halfway release for serious sexual and violent offenders so they will serve two-thirds of their sentence behind bars–and in the most dangerous cases all of their sentence behind bars, keeping dangerous criminals off our streets.
•Removing more foreign criminals and using overseas prisons to alleviate pressure on our prisons and keep the public safe. Westill have over 10,000 foreign criminals in our prisons, so we are making it easier to deport them by extending the Early Removal Scheme, increasing the number of people processing cases, and striking new agreements like our deal with Albania,so countries take back their criminals.
•Reducing reoffending rates by giving the lowest risk offenders a path away from crime, helping them to rebuild their lives and contribute to society. Reoffending rates are higher for those who go to prison on a short sentence, so we will legislate a presumption against prison sentences of less than 12months. Instead, those offenders canvisibly pay their debts by, for example, scrubbing graffiti off walls.
•Doubling of the number of GPS tags available to the courts, helping to manage offenders in thecommunity.We are doubling the number of GPS tags available to ensure that offenders can be monitored to track that they are going to work and to ensure their freedom is curtailed in the evenings and at weekends with robust curfews of up to 20 hours a day.