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Tuesday, 02 July 2019 10:57

Pre sentence reports

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Charities are calling on the government to strengthen the law so that anyone being considered for a prison sentence must have a pre-sentence report before a court can imprison them. 

It follows a recent report by HM Probation Inspectorate which revealed that three-quarters of people given short sentences did not have any report on their needs prior to sentencing. The call was made by Revolving Doors Agency, Centre for Mental Health, Prison Reform Trust, the Disabilities Trust and Transform Justice. There has been a 29% fall in the number of pre-sentence reports completed from 2013 to 2018. ‘We were shocked to find that pre-sentence reports were prepared for the courts before imposing a short prison sentence in less than one in four cases in our sample,’ said the inspectors. ‘In the majority of cases, judges and magistrates do not appear to have an assessment of why someone reoffended, their current circumstances or the potential for community sentences as an alternative to custody.’

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