EARLY RELEASE CONSIDERED TO DEAL WITH PRISON CRISIS
It has been reported that Minister for Justice Alan Shatter is considering releasing long-term prisoners earlier than planned in an effort to ease prison overcrowding.
Since 2005, the number of prisoners serving sentences from five years to life has increased by 51 percent, accounting for over one-third of the prison population.
Mr. Shatter has asked senior officials to review a radical proposal that would allow suitable inmates who are serving long sentences to be released early to free up space. Such prisoners may have the last period of their custodial sentence replaced by a form of community service.
The possible criteria for early release remain unclear, however it is likely that risk posed by a criminal after release, their willingness to engage in rehabilitative programmes and the nature of their crimes will be taken into consideration.