Prisoners serving fixed terms for serious offences will no longer be released automatically halfway through their sentence, under reforms to be unveiled by the Government this week.
Instead High Court judges could be given the ultimate power to decide whether a prisoner should be freed at that stage.
The move is one of a raft of proposed changes to the sentencing system due to be outlined by the Home Office on Wednesday.
They follow a series of high-profile instances in which offenders were perceived to have received unduly light sentences.
Home Secretary John Reid infuriated the judiciary in July by publicly intervening in the case of paedophile Craig Sweeney, after it emerged he could potentially be eligible for parole in five years despite being handed an indefinite "life" term.
The mooted changes would update the Criminal Justice Act 2003, which introduced automatic release at the halfway stage for fixed-term prisoners, allowing them to complete the rest of their time under supervision from probation officers.
Instead, judges would have powers to overrule early release if they believe an offender has not been rehabilitated and remains a threat to the public.