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Review of sentencing

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered the Ministry of Justice to review sentencing for the most serious violent and sexual offenders, and of the most prolific offenders; and the rules governing when and how these offenders are released.

It will consider whether changes in legislation are needed to not let those in prison out automatically part-way through a sentence. It will also look at how to break the cycle of repeat offending. The review will report back to the Prime Minister with recommendations this autumn.

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland QC, said: “Too often the public and victims feel that violent and sexual offenders are being released early and without a proper deterrent to stop their offending. We must ensure that there is confidence in the system, which is why my department will undertake an urgent review of how and when these offenders are released – to better protect the public and end the cycle of re-offending. This work is a priority for the Government and will report back to the Prime Minister with recommendations to ensure punishments properly reflect the severity of their crimes.”

Richard Burgon, Labour’s Shadow Justice Secretary, said: “These measures fall woefully short of what is needed to make our prisons safe. Faced with a prisons emergency caused by austerity, Boris Johnson is timidly tinkering at the edges. Reckless Tory cuts to staffing and budgets unleashed unprecedented levels of violence in our prisons. The Tories have slashed the prisons budget by hundreds of millions of pounds and there are still thousands fewer prison officers than when they came to power. Our prisons have too few staff to safely manage the existing prison population, never mind any planned expansion. Boris Johnson should set out a detailed plan and provide proper funding to ensure that our prisons have the staffing and resources needed to focus on rehabilitation and reducing re-offending.”


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