Written Question on Prison Sentences

Written Questions are submitted by MPs or Lords to receive information from a Department.

See more on: "Prison Sentences"
Date Title Questioner
11 May 2020, 4:52 p.m. Prison Sentences Ruth Jones


To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of sentences of less than six months in reducing reoffending rates.

Answer (Chris Philp)

We are clear that sentencing must match the severity of a crime, and public protection is our priority.

The latest proven reoffending rate for adult offenders released from sentences of six months or less in the quarter January to March 2018 was almost two thirds (64.8%).

If we are to break the cycle of reoffending, solutions will often lie in community sentences, including those which address offenders’ behaviour, answer their mental health and alcohol or drug misuse needs, or provide reparation for the benefit of the wider community. However, sentencers should continue to have the option of imposing a short custodial sentence, where appropriate.

In the Queen’s speech in December, the Government announced plans to introduce new sentencing laws. Ahead of any legislation, we intend to canvass proposals in a White Paper. This will contain proposals for community penalties that offer an appropriate level of punishment, while tackling the underlying drivers of re-offending.

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