Letter: Prisoner tag delay

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The Independent Culture
Letter:

Prisoner tag delay

Sir: Any scheme of early release for prisoners runs risks, both political and otherwise. The very low failure rate of home detention curfew subject to electronic tagging, to which Angela Devlin draws attention ("Better to be a prisoner in your own home", 10 May), must be celebrated.

However, it is no secret that prison governors have been extremely cautious in their release decisions. The original projections were that between 3,000 and 4,000 prisoners would be released on curfew by Easter. In fact, last Friday there were fewer than 2,000 prisoners on the scheme.

The consequence is that the prison population continues to be held at a much higher level than is necessary to protect the public from serious harm. Indeed, there are in excess of 3,100 more people in prison today than the Home Office itself predicted just last October.

STEPHEN SHAW

Director, Prison Reform Trust

London EC1

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