Taxpayers paying £1m a month on 'free' lawyers to help criminals get out of jail
TAXPAYERS are forking out over £1million a month on “free” lawyers to get criminals out of jail early.
Murderers, rapists and paedophiles were among convicts given legal assistance at 6,292 parole hearings last year.
Lags can demand lawyers plead they are safe to be released or ask for a move to a softer prison.
Ministry of Justice figures show a record £58.5million has been spent in the past five years on hiring lawyers to aid cons at parole hearings.
More than 28,000 sessions took place in jails. Every hearing costs the taxpayer about £2,000 and there are more than 125 every week.
The details emerged after child killer Colin Pitchfork was returned to jail for breaking his parole conditions three months after being set free.
In June, the parole board’s decision to release him sparked an outcry.
David Spencer, from the Centre for Crime Prevention, said: “These huge sums show why the Ministry of Justice must make the system fairer to victims and taxpayers.”
The Ministry said: “Not a penny of this money goes to offenders. The vast majority are refused release.”