Prisoners who commit assaults and other serious offences are less likely to receive automatic time off their sentence, under new proposals.
As it currently stands, most prisoners are automatically entitled to 25 per cent remission from their sentences.
In certain circumstances, remission can be reduced, but only by 14 days for a single offence.
Minister of State at the Department of Justice Hildegarde Naughton today announced a review of how remission should be applied to prisoners in future.
“I want our prisons to be safe for prison staff and for other prisoners. The operation of remission is an important aspect of the prisons regime and I want it to play its part in making our prisons safer places,” she said.
“Where prisoners don’t meet the standards that we can reasonably expect of them, that should have consequences.”
The review will consider whether remission should be proactively earned for good behaviour, rather than automatically applied. As a result, prisoners who repeatedly commit offences will have their sentences lengthened.
The Prison Officers Association has previously called for a restructuring of the remission system, to protect officers from assault.
Ms Naughton said on Sunday the issue is “ripe for review” and will be included a wider review of penal policy which her Department will launch this year.