What do the punished think of punishment? The comparative experience of short prison sentences and community based punishments

Elizabeth Weaver, Sarah Armstrong

    Research output: Book/ReportOther report


    Despite a substantial knowledge base about experiences of prison, there is scant research on the most common penal experience in Scotland – doing a short prison sentence (but see Criminal Justice Forum, 2003). Short prison sentences are one of the characteristic features of imprisonment in Scotland, where the vast majority of custodial sentences issued in a year (ranging anywhere between 75% and 80%) are for six months or less (Scottish Government, 2010). The current Government is pursuing an agenda to reduce the short sentence culture in Scotland, by expanding the use of community-based forms of punishment and creating a legal presumption against the use of very short stays in prison. In addition, there is also growing belief that bringing the voices of ‘users’ into policy deliberations and development are essential for the effective design and delivery as well as the credibility of public services (Weaver, 2010). Prisoners and offenders – like victims, communities, and criminal justice professionals – are a key user group of criminal justice services, and the Government has expressed interest in learning more about the perspectives of various users.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages23
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


    • user voice
    • punishment
    • prison
    • community penalties

    Research Output

    Persistent punishment: users views of short prison sentences

    Armstrong, S. & Weaver, B., 2013, In : The Howard Journal of Crime and Justice. 23 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    15 Citations (Scopus)
    539 Downloads (Pure)


    • 2 Invited talk

    Experiences of Imprisonment

    Beth Weaver (Speaker)

    21 Nov 2011

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

    Users’ perspectives on punishment – Why listen?

    Beth Weaver (Keynote speaker)

    11 Oct 2011

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

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