Terrorists face longer behind bars for offences committed in prison

Justice Secretary Dominic Raab said that this change will keep communities safer from those unwilling to change their ways

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Terrorist prisoners who commit offences behind bars will face tougher sentences, Justice Secretary Dominic Raab has announced.

The move comes as a reform to the old system where additional offences carried out by prisoners, such as vandalising cells or dealing in contraband, are usually dealt with by prison governors – with a maximum sentence of 42 days.

Terrorist prisoners who commit offences behind bars will face tougher sentences, Justice Secretary Dominic Raab has announced.
Terrorist prisoners who commit offences behind bars will face tougher sentences, Justice Secretary Dominic Raab has announced.

Instead, terrorist offenders will have all offences committed in jail referred to police within one week for investigation. They will then potentially face prosecution, and significantly longer sentences.

Mr Raab said that this change will keep communities safer from those unwilling to change their ways.

“Terrorist offenders pose a grave risk to public safety, and they must face the full consequences of their actions – whether on the street or behind bars,” he said.

“This important change means any transgression will come with the prospect of significantly more prison time and keep our communities safer, for longer, from those unwilling to change their ways.”

The move comes following a review of terrorist activity in jails in England and Wales by the Government’s independent reviewer of terrorist legislation, Jonathan Hall KC.

In his report, Mr Hall said public confidence in the criminal justice system is shaken if people enter prison only to become more dangerous.

Terrorists face longer behind bars for offences committed in prison
Terrorists face longer behind bars for offences committed in prison

“Prisons must not be allowed to become a second opportunity for committed terrorists whose attack plans are thwarted in the community,” he said.

“More fundamentally, public confidence in the criminal justice system is shaken if terrorism occurs in prison or if people enter prison only to (become) more dangerous: and the ability of prisons to function is gravely degraded if prison officers fear imminent terrorist attack.”