Tagged men go back to prison

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The Independent Online
TWO PRISONERS released early from prison under the electronic tagging scheme launched last week have been recalled to prison, the Home Office confirmed today.

The two - both believed to be men - are the first prisoners freed under the Home Detention Curfew scheme to be sent back to prison. The Home Office immediately came under fire for the way the scheme was operating but officials said it was inevitable some prisoners would run into trouble and said the swift recalls showed the system was working well.

The first offender to be recalled was returned to Cardiff jail yesterday after being released last Friday, the second day of the scheme which will eventually see up to 30,000 prisoners each year freed early. It is believed he broke the terms of an injunction not to contact his ex-wife, but had not breached his curfew conditions. No details were released about the second prisoner.

Conservative and Liberal Democrat opponents demanded more information about the incidents. Tory home affairs spokesman James Clappison said they raised question marks over the success of the risk assessments that have been carried out on every prisoner released to ensure that the public was not put at risk.

The Lib Dem's home affairs spokesman, Alan Beith, warned that the scheme would only work if it was combined with constructive supervision of released offenders.

Prisoners released on the Home Detention Curfew scheme can be recalled to jail if they break the terms of their curfew - which usually runs from 7pm to 7am - or if they commit another offence before completing their sentence. About 250 prisoners have been freed under the scheme so far.