Euro ruling prompts jail rules revamp

Prisoners at Moorland Young Offenders Institution in south
Yorkshire will have an automatic right to legal representation at
internal jail disciplinary hearings, under a move announced by the
Prison Service.

From this week, prisoners will have internal hearings in front of
district judges, with an option to be represented by a lawyer. If
successful at four pilot sites the scheme could be rolled out
across England and Wales.

The move follows a European Court of Human Rights ruling that
adding days on to a prison sentence because of disciplinary
offences in jail was a breach of human rights as governors could
not be totally independent. Some prisoners who had extra days added
to their sentence have already been released, but others are still
awaiting review.

The Prison Service will fund the cost of the hearings, which are a
temporary arrangement until March next year, while it decides on a
more permanent solution, which could include setting up an
independent adjudicators’ body.

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