Page last updated at 07:10 GMT, Thursday, 13 March 2008

55m funding for sentence changes

Cell door
The changes include an end to automatic 50% remission

The government is to invest 55m in probation services in Northern Ireland.

The money will be partly spent on delivering major new sentencing reforms which include an end to automatic 50% remission for prisoners.

Criminal Justice Minister Paul Goggins will officially make the announcement at a meeting later.

In the case of the most serious and violent sexual offenders, the money will be available to fund their indeterminate and extended sentences.

It will also see the end of the controversial 50% remission rule.

Prisoners will serve part of their sentence behind bars and the rest in the community with the money being used to pay for strict supervision when offenders are released back into society.

The investment will be rolled out over the next three years.

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