Duncan Lewis Solicitors

Updates of Legal Affairs…

Plans on way for stringent community sentences

March 27th, 2012


There are plans by the ministers to set out tougher Community sentencing for offenders in England and Wales.

Though there are around 170,000 people who are given community sentences every year ministers are of the opinion that they are too lenient.

The plans could include use of electronic tagging through GPS tracking system and rigorous punishment orders like curfews and travel bans.

But the probation union Napo said that it would be counterproductive as more serious sentences would make offenders hard at meeting their requirements.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) had said that trials had shown that community sentences were cheaper and checked re-offending.

The aim was not necessarily to reduce the numbers in prisons, but the new community sentences could help courts to deal with cases requiring fewer sentences of less than 12 months.

The GPS system tagging devises being currently put to trial would control the movement of the offenders as it is seen that community sentences did more harm when it came to re offending.

Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke is to set out the proposals later. He is to convey that revamping the community sentences is to ensure they are tough, credible and robust.

He will say that criminals must be punished for their crimes and pay back to communities and victims eventually getting reformed.

He is to set out plans to modernize the probation services and he would be saying that firm punishment and effective reform of the offender comes from a good sentencing.

But probation union Napo voiced concern about a negative impact of tougher community sentences.

But assistant general secretary Harry Fletcher of probation union Napo said that more punitive the order, higher the breach rate. He added that technology of GPS may not prevent breach when there is a breakdown. Higher the breaches then there are more imprisonments he added.

Mr Fletcher also said there was “no evidence that GPS satellite tracking will reduce crime or save costs”.