The increasing number of prisoners serving life or indeterminate sentences who are being granted day releases from custody is quite rightly giving rise for concern, especially when as many as one in eight go on the run, commit further crimes or return to jails late, according to the latest figures.
And with recent cases such as non-returning thugs such as “Skull Cracker” Michael Wheatley and the Merseyside pair of Arnold Pickering and Thomas Moffett still very much to the fore, certain questions have to be asked.
Who authorised the releases of these very dangerous men?
Surely the fact they had committed crimes of violence should have meant their rights to day release had been lost?
Shouldn’t the law be amended whereby if a judge passes down a sentence of X years to a criminal, then X years is the length of time which they serve?
And, most importantly, what are murderers doing in open prisons when people convicted of far less serious offences are incarcerated in old-style jails?
The law-abiding public expects people convicted of serious crimes to be kept under lock and key, and allowing them out on day release defeats the point of jailing them in the first place.
It is therefore good to hear the Government plans to tighten up the rules on day release.
It is something that should be introduced without delay.