Eric Allison writes in Monday's Guardian
A prisoner released early from jail with no money was handed an IOU for £140 but no information about where it could be redeemed, it was claimed today.
A crisis in the prison service was blamed for the situation, which has seen hundreds of people freed from prison with little or no money and no accommodation.
Released prisoners are often dependent on state benefits but applications usually take a month to process. Those freed early cannot put in a claim until their sentence officially ends.
The reason there is a push to release prisoners early is that Britain's prisons suffer from overcrowding.
The National Association of Probation Officers (Napo) has said many prisoners are released with no money at all; and for those who receive the £45 grant it can amount to as little as £1.50 a day on which to survive until state benefits begin.
Yup. Someone in the Ministry of Silly Walks had a Cunning Plan. 'Let's let lots and lots and lots of prisoners out early! And find out if the educational opportunities offered by our prison service are actually working! If all goes according to plan, they'll have picked up plenty of tips from the old lags -- they'll have contacts on the outside, they'll know how to steal and deal drugs without getting caught!!!! If we gave them something to live on when they walked out, they might not turn to crime -- and we'd never know if they'd learnt their lesson.'
Not to be too much the tired cynic, this is an unorthodox approach to reducing the prison population.