Baroness Newlove has called for judges and courts to be required to be more “honest” to victims about sentencesCredit:Paul Grover He added: “We need to move to a system where a prisoner sentenced to a determinate period in custody should serve a minimum 50 per cent and maximum 100 per cent with time off for demonstrable remorse, participating in offender reduction programmes, their attitude to victims and behaviour.”The figures reveal criminals sentenced to between 12 months and two years on average served 43 per cent of their “headline” jail term. It includes any time in remand, but it excludes the extra third they can get off if they plead guilty. In effect, it means they could be serving half of a “two thirds” sentence.Offenders are also entitled to release under curfew up to 135 days before the halfway mark of their sentence.Criminals serving sentences of between 12 weeks and four years are eligible for home detention curfew. The 44,355 offenders jailed for up to six months served on average 51 per cent of their time, while the 7,341 jailed for four years or more served 56 per cent.David Green, director of think tank Civitas, said: “The Government is well aware from its own reconviction statistics that the majority of prisoners go on to commit further crimes, and yet these new figures show that many offenders serve as little as 43 per cent of the judge’s sentence. It is time to consider a return to the system that prevailed for over 60 years until the late Sixties, namely that the only way of getting out early was to earn time off for good behaviour. Prisoners could have their sentence reduced by up to one third.”The MoJ said that, over all determinate sentences, including under six months and over four years, criminals spent more than half of their time behind bars. It added: “Parliament has long maintained that offenders should serve part of their sentence in prison and part under strict supervision in the community to aid rehabilitation and prevent further offending.” The majority of criminals jailed for between six months and four years are being released less than halfway through their sentences, figures obtained by The Daily Telegraph disclose.The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) data – accounting for more than 32,000 criminals in jail last year for offences including violence, knife crime, theft and fraud – show they served on average only between 43 per cent and 49 per cent of their sentences.The disclosure prompted calls for a rethink of automatic early release which campaigners claim leaves victims frustrated by the apparent “soft” justice and provide no incentive for criminals to reform their ways in prison.It follows demands by Baroness Newlove, the departing Victims’ Commissioner, for judges and courts to be required to be more “honest” to victims about sentences.Harry Fletcher, director of the Victims Rights Campaign, said: “Automatic release at the 50 per cent stage means there’s no incentive for prisoners to reform, take part in offender management courses or behave, because they get out anyway.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.