Below is a press release issued by the Conservative Party on 19/11/2019.
Adults who murder children will be imprisoned for life, without parole, under tough new justice plans to be introduced by a Conservative majority Government.
Whilst murder already attracts a mandatory life sentence, the vast majority of convicted murderers do not spend their whole life in prison.
The next Conservative majority Government will reform the law to make sure that the premeditated murder of a child is set a Whole Life Order – meaning that a prisoner will never be eligible for release.
This follows a commitment already made by the Government to toughen sentences for the most serious violent and sexual offenders by abolishing early release at the half way point of a convicted criminal’s sentence.
The move is part of a package of measures to improve the way justice works for law abiding British people. As well as clamping down on the early release of serious criminals, it contains plans to cut crime by reducing reoffending through a doubling of the number of prisoners in employment six weeks after their release. These include:
A dedicated Prison Education Service to oversee the education and skills training offered across all jails.
Prisoners to be offered more hours of work whilst in jail to provide them with the opportunity to learn new skills and better prepare them for employment on release.
More prison workshops where prisoners can be employed in dedicated workspaces
A dedicated work coach in every prison to link inmates with local jobcentres ahead of their release.
Commenting on the new announcements, Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said:
There can be no more sickening injustice than that of heartbroken parents watching the killer of their child walk free.
That’s why under a Conservative majority Government the law will be rewritten to be absolutely clear: any murderer who denies a young, innocent child the right to life surrenders their own right to liberty. They do so permanently, and they do so without exception.
There is nothing we can do to take away the pain of the families of murdered children. So we must do everything in our power not to compound it.
What you need to know:
A Conservative majority Government will change the law so that adults who commit premeditated murder of children will serve their whole life in prison without parole.
We will change the law so that adults who murder children will be imprisoned for life without parole.
We will reform the life sentence regime for murder by revising Schedule 21 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 and setting a Whole Life Order (a life sentence with no parole eligibility) as the starting point for all adults who murder children.
This would apply to all convicted adult murderers over 21 who commit the premeditated killing of a child aged under 16 with intent to kill. The current rules require the murder to be of multiple children, or to be sexually or sadistically motivated, to attract a Whole Life Order, which is too restrictive. The sentencing decision in any given case would continue to rest with the judge.
The new policy will be subject to the usual judicial discretion.
A Whole Life Order in these cases will be the starting tariff, however judges will be able to depart from this if there are exceptional mitigating circumstances in an individual child murder case.
A Conservative majority Government will introduce measures in prison to give better chances to offenders once they have been released, double the number of prisoners in employment six weeks after release and reduce reoffending.
We will create a dedicated Prison Education Service focused on work-based training and skills.
This new service will oversee the education and skills training offered across all jails. This will build upon the new Prison Education Framework issued in April 2019, and provide a new focus across the whole system on raising educational standards of all prisoners serving sentences in England and Wales. To track progress and ensure prison regimes are delivering good results, we now require basic literacy and numeracy testing on reception into prison and at point of release.
We will increase the hours worked by prisoners and give them the opportunity to develop new skills.
The next Conservative government will increase the total number of prisoners in prison-based industries, and the total number of hours worked, every year of the next Parliament.
More prison workshops to provide the setting for skills to be developed.
As our prison estate is expanded, renovated and modernised, with capital expenditure of £2.75 billion, we will be able to create more space for prison workshops where prisoners can be employed in dedicated workspaces. New prisons planned at Glen Parva in Leicestershire and at Wellingborough will include dedicated workshop facilities.
A dedicated work coach for every prison.
From 2020 we will guarantee a work coach in every prison in the country, to provide support from an early stage of an offender’s sentence, through to the point of release. This will involve CV support and opportunities to develop skills and links to employers in the community.