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NCJ Number: 201365 Find in a Library
Title: Evaluating the Pluses and Minuses of Custody: Sentencing Reform in England and Wales
Journal: Howard Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:42  Issue:3  Dated:July 2003  Pages:229-247
Author(s): Julian V. Roberts
Date Published: July 2003
Page Count: 19
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This article discusses the custody aspects of sentencing reform in England and Wales.
Abstract: The three sanctions defined in the 2002 Criminal Justice Bill, specifically the three forms of custody applicable to custodial sentences of under 1 year, are: (1) Custody Plus, created to provide a supervisory period following a term of custody; (2) the suspended sentence of imprisonment; and (3) the intermittent sentence of imprisonment. The three sanctions may reduce the number of admissions to custody, or the amount of time that offenders spend in custody. The principal purpose of these sanctions is the reduction of recidivism. The government asserts that Custody Plus will help reduce recidivism by preventing relapse in the post-custodial phase when the offender is on license. Offenders serving intermittent sentences should be less likely to re-offend as a result of the license period between custodial days. Improving effectiveness is the motivation behind the suspended sentence of imprisonment. These reforms represent an attempt to promote uniformity in sentencing and reduce the use of custody as a sanction. The Criminal Justice Bill contains guidance to the use of imprisonment and restricts the power of magistrates’ courts to impose sentences in excess of 12 months. The bill also places the concept of deferred sentences on a statutory footing. Successful compliance with the requirements during a deferment period will result in substantial mitigation with respect to the sentence eventually imposed. The offender’s positive behavior during the deferment period may spare him committal to custody. The suspended sentence of imprisonment may make a significant contribution to arresting the spiraling prison population in England and Wales, as has been the case in Canada and in the Australian State of Victoria. 10 notes, 32 references
Main Term(s): England; Sentencing reform; Wales
Index Term(s): Foreign sentencing; Intermediate sanctions; Intermittent sentences; Sentence effectiveness; Sentencing guidelines; Sentencing trends
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