Some inmates serving jail terms of four years or less will be released early to ease prison overcrowding in England and Wales, Lord Falconer has said.
He told the House of Lords it will mean around 1,200 prisoners being released up to 18 days early on licence.
The justice minister's statement comes as the prison population breaks the 81,000 barrier for the first time.
He also said 1,500 new prison cells would be constructed. The extra space will be available from early 2008.
This is in addition to 8,000 prison cells which are already in the process of being created.
The Conservatives have condemned the plan to release prisoners early. Their home affairs spokesman Edward Garnier said it posed a risk to the public.
I personally think this is disgusting, so they are running out of space, who gives a shit, cram them into cells like we used to do with slaves, at the end of the day prisoners are criminals and deserve no better treatment then what we handed out to the slaves, who didnt deserve it.
No wonder there is so much crime, what with the glorified ASBO culture and the justice system being made to look rediculous, Labour have really excelled at encouraging crime. BBC News Report