Rather than discussing Conservative policy plans for the country, the Conservative Party have resorted to negative General Election campaign posters of Gordon Brown's record according to the Tories.
Gordon Brown's 'get out of jail' scheme
Within days of Gordon Brown becoming Prime Minister, the Government began to release prisoners early to ease prison overcrowding. Under the 'End of Custody Licence' scheme, prisoners serving between one month and four years were to be released eighteen days before the mid-point of their sentence.
80,000 prisoners have now been released early. This includes 15,715 violent offenders and 7,213 burglars (Ministry of Justice, End of Custody Licence Releases and Recalls, 26 February 2010, table 1). In 2008, it emerged that two terrorists had been released early under the scheme (Hansard, 24 April 2008, Col. 2251w).
Prisoners released early have been paid £7 million to compensate them for the loss of free board and lodging in prison (Hansard, 24 February 2010, Col. 585w).
Reoffending by prisoners on early release
Labour's early release scheme has led to 1,500 crimes being committed by people who should have been behind bars at the time (Ministry of Justice, End of Custody Licence Releases and Recalls, 26 February 2010, table 3).
Ministry of Justice figures show that these include 81 burglaries, 25 robberies, and seven alleged sex offences (Hansard, 29 April 2009, Col. 1333w) Three murders have been committed by violent offenders released early, including that of teenager Jed Sheridan, who was kicked to death in a drunken attack in Portsmouth. One of his attackers had been released early the previous week (The Times, 28 October 2008).
Early release ended in pre-election stunt With ten weeks to go before the General Election, Jack Straw announced he was scrapping the early release scheme (Hansard, 22 February 2010, Col. 27). But he has refused deny claims that officials have advised that a shortage of prison cells means it could be reintroduced within months (Hansard, 22 February 2010, Col. 30).