Number of prisoners let out overnight soars

Author: By Laura May, Press Association

Ministry of Justice figures obtained by the Tories show that the number of
people granted a Resettlement Overnight Release (ROR) licence has gone from
3,813 in 2006 to 11,559 in 2008.

Prisoners nearing the end of their sentence can apply for a number of ROR
licences, which allow them to spend up to four nights away from their cells
before release.

The Conservatives claim that because prisoners not in jail overnight are not
counted in the prison population figures, the shortage of cells is being
underestimated. Shadow justice secretary Dominic Grieve said: ?While there
is a case for allowing some prisoners to stay home overnight as they
approach release, overnight release should never be used simply because of a
lack of prison cells.?

A Prison Service spokesman said: ?ROR exists to rehabilitate offenders and
make communities safer, not to relieve population pressures. We are dealing
with those pressures by putting in more prison places, with nearly 25,000
created since 1997.?

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