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Repeal section 39 of the Prison Act 1952

Comment 16th July 2010

Section 39 of the Prison Act 1952 creates an offence of assisting prisoners to escape. However, there are four other related common law offences that could be used instead of this statutory offence:

  • Permitting an escape
  • Rescue
  • Escaping from lawful custody without force
  • Breach of prison

Assisting a prisoner could be charge as aiding and abetting or conspiracy to commit one of the above offences.

Why does this matter?

If there are adequate common law offences to cover an undesirable behaviour why is it necessary to have a law creating a new offence, which covers that same behaviour.

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