Prison boss fears public are being put at risk because violent offenders are released straight from jail into the community

  • Up to 100 inmates a year are being set free from a rural jail in Rutland 
  • Reformed criminals  are being released without a crucial resettlement process 
  • Inmates should spend 12 months in a resettlement prison before end of sentence

The public are being put at risk by violent offenders who are released straight from prison into the community, the government inspector has warned.

Up to 100 inmates a year are being set free from a rural jail in Rutland without going through a crucial resettlement process beforehand.

They are meant to spent at least 12 months in a resettlement prison before the end of their sentence to help them adapt to normal life outside.

But the Chief Inspector of Prisons has raised concerns that at least eight inmates a month are being released directly from HMP Stocken without going to one of these centres.

 Up to 100 inmates a year are being set free from a rural jail in Rutland without going through a crucial resettlement process beforehand (stock)

These prisoners will be significantly more likely to reoffend as they will find it less easy to get a job, and may not adjust to living in the community.

Furthermore, they may not have been through important public-protection arrangements in which the police and other agencies take steps to reduce their risks.

HMP Stocken is a category C prison near Oakham in the county of Rutland, the East Midlands, housing around 830 adult male prisoners.

Exactly half had been convicted of violent crimes at the time of inspection and nearly all were serving sentences of at least four years.

Peter Clarke, the Chief Inspector of Prisons, said this ‘created potentially serious risks’, particularly given the ‘prisoner population.’

There are up to 70 resettlement prisons in England and they provide extra support to inmates with finding work, tackling drug addictions and learning basic life skills.

They also set up Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements for offenders to work out ways of managing their risk to the public when they are released.

But sometimes they are full and unable to take inmates from nearby prisons who are nearing the end of their sentences.

Mr Clarke also raised concerns that managers at HMP Stocken were not properly discussing the risks of violent offenders prior to their release.

His inspection report, published today, states: ‘The interdepartmental risk management team (IRMT) meeting was poorly attended and was not given sufficient priority across the prison.

‘Although the establishment routinely released about eight prisoners each month, the meeting did not routinely consider high-risk prisoners approaching release, to provide assurance that their risks were being managed appropriately.

‘We looked at the cases of four high-risk prisoners who were due to be released in February 2019, and none of them had been discussed at the IRMT (interdepartmental risk management team) meeting in the previous six months.’

Yesterday (Tues) concerns were raised about the safety of prisoners undertaking work placements in the community following a major expansion of the Government’s day-release scheme.

More than 500 businesses have signed up to employ inmates on temporary release including the Pret A Manger sandwich chain and the Greene King pubs.


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