Extended presumption against short sentences: monitoring information - January - December 2020

Second edition of information to monitor the extension of the presumption against short sentences to 12 months or less.

Key Points

  • The impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the associated suspension of court cases and the resulting backlog in court cases waiting to progress complicates the interpretation of recent patterns in custodial sentence lengths, making it difficult to separate the effects of the pandemic from the effects of the extended presumption against short custodial sentences (PASS).
  • Numbers of custodial sentences of less than or equal to 12 months, and the proportion of all disposals that these made up, were reducing in the period between the implementation of the extended presumption (PASS) and the announcement of lockdown in late March.
  • The number of Restriction of Liberty Orders (RLO) issued has increased steadily since lockdown and numbers were at a recent high in December 2020.


Email: justice_analysts@gov.scot

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