OFFENDERS could be released from prisons to help with pressures during the coronavirus pandemic.

Many of the country's prisons are overcrowded and the spreading of the virus could be an issue. 

The justice secretary Robert Buckland told the Commons justice committee that Covid-19 poses an 'acute' risk. 

He is considering a temporary license meaning prisoners could be let out for a short period of time after having a risk assessment. 

Mr Buckland is also looking into releasing 50 pregnant inmates.

And those waiting for a trial or on remand could be transferred to bail hostels.

But he realises that releasing prisoners early could be a difficult challenge for probation staff.