Saturday, March 17

Legal loophole results in soldiers convicted of sex attacks and violent offences being released without supervision


The recent report carried out by HM Inspectorate of Prisons claims that the public may not be protected properly as a result of the probation system used by the United Kingdom’s only military detention centre operating independently.

As The Independent reports, “HM Inspectorate of Prisons said the public were not being protected by processes at the UK’s only military detention centre […]”. The legal loophole of which this lack of protection is a consequence provides for no supervision of the former inmates by authorities responsible for protecting the public from ex-convicts of sex and violent offences.

Peter Clarke, the Chief Inspector said that the loophole, “arose because of a statutory anomaly that does not include them military in the arrangements that apply to non-military offenders on release.” Clarke further called for the inclusion of military detention in the efforts of MAPPA (“a multi-agency public protection” programme). The programme sees forces such as police attempt to control risks posed by ex-convicts upon their assimilation with the outside world after serving their sentence. This does not, however, mean that servicemen and women who have served a sentence for committing a sexual offence are not put on the Sex Offender Register.

The facility to which soldiers found guilty of “mutiny, misconduct, desertion, insubordination and neglect of duty” is capable of holding up to 300 inmates. As the report had found, the facility is a shining example of rehabilitation. The work of the detention centre was commented positively upon with relation to the mental and physical state in which the detainees return to their military duties as well as the lack of drugs and violence at the facility itself.

Despite these positive remarks being welcome at a time when other detention centres in the UK are seeing their detainees resort to hunger strikes, it remains undeniable that the post-release procedures with regards to prisoners must be altered for the safety of the public.

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About Author

Matt is a law student at Durham University. As a result of his background as an international student, he has an interest in international affairs as well as politics and film.

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