Prison Sentences

Victims of crime want people to serve the sentence handed down by courts in full and not walk free early, an MP has said.

Shipley MP Philip Davies said criminals know they will not serve their sentence in full and it made a mockery of the justice system.

Speaking in the Commons he said: “Victims of crime want to see the perpetrator of that crime properly punished. Is the minister happy that prisoners are automatically released half way through their prison sentence no matter how disruptive they are or no matter how much of a threat they still pose to the public, or does he agree with me that prisoners should serve their sentences handed down by the courts in full.”

Justice Minister Phillip Lee said: “The purpose of justice and the justice system, the primary goal must be to reduce reoffending. If somebody in prison has been assessed as deemed not a risk to society and has been properly rehabilitated I think it is in the best interest of that individual for that person to be released.”

Speaking after the exchange Mr Davies said lax prison sentences do not act as a deterrent to crime as criminals know they will not serve the full sentence and only have to serve, at the most, half of their allocated jail time.

He added: “We need to put victims first and let them see people are being punished. We have to end the situation we are currently in where sentences are not served in full and also the ridiculous fixed term recalls for criminals who break their terms of licence or parole.”

A Fixed Term Recall is where an offender breaches their licence and is returned to prison for 28 days – not the remainder of their original sentence. It was introduced in 2008 by the then Labour Government to reduce the prison population.