LESS dangerous sex offenders could be transferred to Prescoed Open Prison, Usk, after rehabilitation - before being released into the community.

Local councillors have been informed of the plans by the prison's governor, Phil Morgan, although they say they did not have the option of objecting.

Mr Morgan was unavailable to comment this week, but a Home Office spokeswoman said this was not a new policy.

She said: "Sex offenders have been in open prisons before to help get them back into the community, it is just a case of them using a different prison for some circumstances.

"We wouldn't release anyone into the community who is judged to be a risk, in particular, to children.

"Prisoners transferred to an open prison would have served the majority of their sentence and will have been through rehabilitation.

"There is no question of anybody being released prior to the authorities deeming them to be ready.

"We want prisoners to be as close to their families as they can be and if there's a different open prison to the existing one that is suitable they will use it."

Usk councillor John Harrhy told the Argus: "I have some concerns because it's something new, but the proof of the pudding will be in the eating.

"The governor told us he was only informing us as a matter of courtesy. "We are concerned that the community is made well aware of it, but I don't think there is anything we can do to stop it."