How can prison sentencing be reduced?

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Currently, Scotland has one of the highest proportionate rates of imprisonment in Western Europe, which the Justice Secretary, Michael Matheson, has described as “totally unacceptable”. He wants to reduce radically the size of the prison population so that investment can be switched from incarceration to community penalties. Presently, extending the existing presumption against passing short custodial sentences appears to be the main tool in the Government’s box. Yet, will extending the Presumption work? If not, what else can be done?
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages3
Specialist publicationScottish Justice Matters
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016


  • prison sentences
  • Scottish law
  • criminal Justice
  • community penalties

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