UK Government Introduces Tougher Limits for Terrorist Prisoners Behind Bars
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UK Government Introduces Tougher Limits for Terrorist Prisoners Behind Bars

Terrorist prisoners in the United Kingdom will now face tougher measures behind bars as the government implements new rules to crack down on dangerous radicalizers. Convicted terrorists will be banned from taking leading roles in religious services, with new rules preventing them from leading the call to prayer or delivering sermons. These measures will extend existing rules preventing the most dangerous prisoners from leading Friday prayers and will now cover all faiths.

The government’s new rules aim to protect frontline staff and the public from being influenced by terrorist prisoners, who may try to exploit their positions of authority or influence to spread their poisonous ideology. This follows a year of bolstered efforts to manage terrorists in prison after an independent review by Jonathan Hall KC.

In addition to the ban on leading religious services, the government has also confirmed limits on prisoners’ property. The new rules will prevent extremists from circumventing prison rules to hide and spread extremist texts. Under current prison rules, there are no limits on the number of books prisoners can own. However, the government will toughen these restrictions by stating that they must fit into two medium-sized boxes with a maximum weight of 15 kilograms. This follows instances where prisoners have gathered hundreds of books in their cells, including extremist material, in an apparent attempt to thwart prison officers’ searches.

The government has also started constructing a new Close Supervision Centre at HMP Frankland, a separate wing that will hold the most physically violent prisoners, including terrorists. This new facility will further tackle extremist activity behind bars.

Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary, Alex Chalk, said that faith could play a vital part in prisoners’ rehabilitation, but the government will not tolerate terrorists who seek to exploit religious services to advance their own sinister agenda. These new measures, along with tougher sentences for terrorists who commit crimes behind bars and the government’s work to separate more of the most radical terrorists, will better protect staff, other prisoners, and the public.

Currently, there are around 200 convicted terrorists in custody in the UK, many of whom try to justify their offences through their flawed interpretation of religion. The government has taken decisive actions to prevent radicalization and exploitation by terrorist offenders behind bars, following recommendations made by Jonathan Hall KC. These actions include the Crime in Prisons agreement, which ensures that terrorist offenders committing crimes in prison are automatically referred to the police for prosecution so that they face longer sentences.

The government has also invested £1.2 million to establish a specialist Separation Centre and high-risk casework team to help prevent offenders from spreading their malicious ideology to others. The government has also made changes to placement into Separation Centres so that offenders can be considered for placement in them sooner rather than being a last resort. Separation Centres are used to hold the most subversive extremist prisoners to prevent them from radicalizing other prisoners.

Other measures include ending the automatic early release of terrorists through the Terrorist Offenders Act and introducing a 14-year minimum jail term for the most dangerous terrorist offenders through the Counter Terrorism and Sentencing Act 2021. The government has also introduced mandatory polygraph testing, making it easier for the police to search terrorist offenders or their property through the new Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022. Finally, the government has expanded closed supervision centres by £6 million, which house the most violent offenders, including the one now under construction at HMP Frankland.

These new measures will strengthen the existing rules and further protect frontline staff, other prisoners, and the public from the influence of terrorist prisoners. The government’s decisive actions demonstrate a commitment to keeping terrorists out of the main light.

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Ingrid Jones
Ingrid Jones
Democracy is something those that have, take for granted. I write because I believe we are better together than we are apart. I am a camera-shy animal lover who loves hiking, watching mystery movies, and enjoy my privacy.