Dangerous prisoners blocked from automatic release from jail to protect the public

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Prisoners who were not judged to be a major threat when they were sentenced but who are “subsequently assessed to pose a significant risk of serious harm to the public” will be affected.

The Ministry of Justice said: “Our number one priority is protecting the public.”

Ministers will be able to override judges’ fixed-term sentences, which set automatic release dates at halfway or two-thirds of the way through prison terms.

Instead, they will be able to refer the prisoner to the Parole Board to require them to serve their full sentences.

It was first thought the unprecedented power would apply to terrorists radicalised in jail only.

But Ministry of Justice guidance lists more than 180 offences that may justify extended detention – including burglary, sexual offences, brothel keeping, robbery, carrying a firearm with criminal intent and domestic violence.

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