I recently read that since they came to power NoLab have swamped the statute book by the sheer volume of new legislation that they have introduced. Most of it has made no difference to our lives whatsoever but some laws have been so mind bogglingly stupid that they really should be reviewed so let me write about the 'End of Custody Licence Scheme'.
This act was introduced by Lord Falconer (remember him better known as Tony Blair's former flat mate) who just before he was replaced by Jack Straw as Justice Minister, thought up this bill as a mechanism to control the overcrowded prisons. You will notice that he didn't try to police the streets more effectively, or build more prisons or even limit mass immigration. No, good old Charlie Falconer thought it better to let release prisoners early.
Now if my arithmetic is correct there are fourteen categories of prisoner who according to this bill are not eligible for early release. It has given the lawyers a field day particularly arguing the case of immigrant prisoners because apparently European Law and the Human Rights Act probably gives them a lot more rights than you and me. Deporting many of them appears to be a serious problem but when did we expect anything else?
Anyway never mind the obvious because this Bill states that prisoners can be released 18 days early (Why 18 days?) as long as they fall into the category not mentioned in the fourteen categories that I have already mentioned. In addition they need to have an address to go to.
The problem is that a couple of thousand of the foreign prisoners who are eligible for release under the Early Licence scheme have no fixed abode so some clever Civil Servant decided that they could still be released as long as they were given sufficient money to cover their food and accommodation for the 18 days! They are therefore being given £168 each and then the rest is up to us to make sure that we don't meet them on a dark night!
Just a few other little observations to make you feel good. No account was taken of those who had been locked up for domestic violence so they were sent back home! 89 others are still on the run (it is probably more by now but I don't place huge reliance on government statistics because I used to see how they were collated), two terrorists were released and despite the effort to relieve the overcrowding there are three of our prisons that are exclusively dedicated to the detention of foreign nationals.
This is life under the New Labour Project so Happy New Year folks!