The Justice Secretary is to unveil changes to the system of privileges in jail with the aim of ensuring that perks are actively earned.
John Massey escaped from Pentonville prison yesterday evening. The public are urged not to approach him, but to call 999 if they see him.
Prison officers across England, Scotland and Wales have returned to work after their walkout over changes to their retirement age.
Prisoners' automatic release halfway through their sentences is being axed and they will have to "earn" their early release.
Child rapists and terrorists will no longer be automatically released at the halfway point of their prison sentence, under the proposals unveiled by the Justice Secretary Chris Grayling.
In addition, criminals who receive an Extended Determinate Sentence - where the offender receives a custodial sentence plus a further extended period of licence - will no longer be released automatically two-thirds of the way into their custodial sentence.
Primary legislation, which will be brought forward in the new year, is required for the new changes, which are expected to affect around 600 criminals a year.
"A very small proportion" of offenders released on life license commit another crime, said the author of a report on how risk assessments are failing the public and prisoners.
Chief Inspector of Probation Liz Calderbank told Daybreak the "vast majority" of prisoners released on life license "re-integrate safely" and "go on to lead productive and successful lives".
However, she warned against the restrictive nature of risk assessment criteria and felt there was more to be done to assist serious offenders leaving prison.
Life sentencing has been used to punish the most severe crimes since the suspension of the death penalty in 1965.
According to a new report from the inspection of life-sentence prisoners:
- Life sentences are given to those guilty of murder, manslaughter and rape.
- While whole-life tariffs are available, most prisoners will be released on parole at some point - the average time served on a mandatory life sentence in 2011 was 16 years.
- Temporary licence allows the inmate to leave the prison for a short period of time - whether visiting a wedding or an overnight visit.
- Prisoners who were released on temporary licence who were not being properly risk assessed, the inspection of life-sentence prisoners found.
Killers and rapists are roaming the streets because of the prison service's failure to complete a full and proper risk assessment before they leave prison, a scathing new report has found.
Basic elements of risk assessments were missing, not adequately filled in or there was "confusion" over who was in charge of the report, the inspection of life-sentence prisoners found.
One unidentified prison changed its paperwork for releasing life-sentence prisoners on temporary licence so the section dealing with risk of harm to others was removed to "simplify the process".
Chief Inspector of Probation Liz Calderbank said prison governors were "not being supplied with sufficient, accurate information" and in a small number of cases nor was the Parole Board, which determines whether prisoners can be safely released into the community.
According to the Howard League for Penal Reform, in England and Wales:
- 777 prisoners were made to sleep three to a cell, when the cells are designed to accommodate only two.
- HMP Wandsworth prison in south London was the worst prison for overcrowding - on an average day 835 inmates had to share cells with an open toilet.
- Other overcrowded prisons were Altcourse, Doncaster, Birmingham, Pentonville, Preston, Manchester, Elmley, Nottingham and Durham
Staff at private security giant Serco face a police investigation after the Government uncovered potentially fraudulent behaviour in the management of its £285 million prison escorting contract.
Serco employees allegedly recorded prisoners as having been delivered ready for court - a key performance measure for the contract - when in fact they were not, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said.
The contract, which covers prison transfer services in London and East Anglia, has been put under administrative supervision with immediate effect.
A triple murderer has launched the first challenge against a "whole life" sentence after an EU ruling which said a tariff forcing murderers to die in jail was “inhuman and degrading”, following an appeal by three killers.
These included Jeremy Bamber, who killed five members of his family in 1985.
The Daily Telegraph reports that Arthur Hutchinson, serving a “whole life” tariff for stabbing a wealthy couple and their son to death after breaking into their home in 1985, and then raping a woman, is to attempt to have his sentence declared a breach of his human rights.
Legal experts feared the initial challenge by Bamber and two other killers would lead to a deluge of similar claims, at great expense to the taxpayer, by all 49 killers and rapists serving whole life tariffs, as well as other murderers handed long sentences.
Prison should be reserved for the most serious of crimes - like those of a violent, threatening or sexual nature, a leading law professor has said.
Professor Andrew Ashworth wants to see prisons focus on rehabilitating violent offenders and more creative sentencing used for stealing or fraud.
In "What If Imprisonment Were Abolished For Property Offences?" he argues imprisonment for theft, handling of stolen goods, criminal damage and fraud is disproportionate.
Fines and community sentences should be used to punish those who commit "property offences".
Prof Ashworth said, This would benefit the victims more Professor Ashworth said, because they would be more likely to receive compensation if the perpetrator was not behind bars.
A Prison Service spokesman said: "In more than 99% of cases where an offender has been recalled, the individual has been successfully returned to custody.
"Where an offender flees the country and their whereabouts are known, the UK does everything it can to return them to custody."
- The figures reveal a total of 821 prisoners are currently unaccounted for, despite having broken the terms of their parole and being recalled to custody at least 12 months ago
- Nearly 400 of those who have absconded have fled abroad, while two criminals are thought to have died
- Nearly 500 breached their parole after failing to stay in touch with the Probation Service, while 33 were recalled to face further charges