Convicted sex offenders to get early reprieve as criminals set for early Christmas release


Convicts could be released six days early in some cases.

George Bunn

By George Bunn

Published: 27/11/2023

- 13:08

It comes as new prison guidance has changes prison release dates around bank holidays

New prison guidelines mean some convicted criminals will be let out almost a week early before Christmas.

Thugs and sex offenders could be released two days early under the new guidance.

All eligible prisoners with a release date between Friday, December 22, and Boxing Day are set to be freed on Wednesday, December 20.

This will be six days early in some cases.

Thugs and sex offenders could be released two days early


A source told The Sun: "The last thing we want is for some crazed stalker or violent ex-partner or to be given days of freedom in the run-up to Christmas.

"So it seems extraordinary that sex offenders and violent criminals have not been excluded."

As many as 505 prisoners were released before the end of their sentence when Christmas last fell on a Monday in 2017.

The new guidance says that the policy must be followed unless there is a clear risk of harm to the public.


Justice Secretary Alex Chalk

Justice Secretary Alex Chalk


It comes as Justice Secretary Alex Chalk insisted that violent and sex offenders would not benefit from last month’s scheme to ease overcrowding by releasing prisoners up to 18 days early.

The guidance means those with a release date between Friday, December 29, and Monday, January 1, will be freed the previous Wednesday or Thursday.

The Ministry of Justice said early release ahead of a weekend or bank holiday had long been a legal requirement.

A spokesperson from the MoJ said: "We are also ending Friday releases for the same reason.

"So prisoners can access vital support rather than leaving them on the streets at risk of reoffending."

Earlier this month, a GB News investigation found dangerous ex-prisoners with severe court-order restrictions have been mismanaged by an Oxford Job Centre, putting the public at risk.

High-risk ex-convicts were allegedly managed at the job centre without their restrictions being properly recorded or observed, leading to several violations of public protection arrangements.

You may like