Prison System at Breaking Point

The Lord Chancellor is triggering an emergency measure, Operation Early Dawn, to deal with the worsening problem of the prison population. Details are somewhat lacking but it appears to be an extension of early release and other measures, but there is a particular measure affecting Magistrates\’ courts in England (but not Wales at the moment).

From tomorrow (Wednesday 15 May) many Magistrates Court cases will be delayed, the cause being a triage process for defendants being transferred from police custody suites to the Magistrates\’ Courts and then likely to be transferred to prison. We

SERCO will do the triage and priority will be given to defendants in the most serious cases.

The Ministry of Justice confirmed that defendants who are not prioritised will be released on police bail. The Ministry of Justice also said that it is expected to have some impact on defendants already on police bail, but cannot say to what degree.

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