First ‘early release’ prisoners freed today

Up to 1,200 criminals were being released from the overcrowded prison system today as the government’s early release scheme came into effect.

Opposition parties condemned the move, and said it was a legacy of years of neglect and underinvestment in new prisons.

The new justice secretary, Jack Straw, defended the releases, saying they involved non-dangerous offenders who would be “carefully selected” by prison governors.

First ‘early release’ prisoners freed today | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited

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