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Consultation on Proposals to Strengthen The Presumption Against Short Periods of Imprisonment: An Analysis of Responses

Consultation on Proposals to Strengthen The Presumption Against Short Periods of Imprisonment: An Analysis of Responses

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

ISBN: 9781786521569

This report presents findings from an analysis of responses to the Scottish Government's consultation on proposals to strengthen the presumption against short periods of imprisonment. The aim of this analysis is to present the full range of respondent views on the proposal to extend the current presumption against short sentences, and other issues relevant to sentencing policy and practice as highlighted in the consultation questions.

Executive Summary

The Scottish Government is committed to reducing the use of short custodial sentences, in favour of increased use of community sentences.

The Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 introduced a presumption against sentences of less than three months, requiring the court to (i) only pass a sentence of three months or less if no other appropriate disposal is available and (ii) record the reasons for this. The use of short-term sentences has, however, remained relatively stable, and the consultation sought views on options for strengthening the presumption in order to make it more effective.

The consultation paper invited views on (i) the proposal to extend the current presumption (ii) a number of additional considerations relevant to reducing the use of short sentences and the use of remand.

This report is an analysis of the full range of respondent views that were received in response to the consultation questions.