Analysis Opinion

England and Wales: short prison sentences, directions for future reform

Helen Mills, Head of Programmes at the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, discusses the vexed problem of short prison sentences.

ICPR and Prison Insider asked several experts worldwide to share their insights in the framework of the project Understanding and reducing the use of imprisonment in 10 countries. Read Helen Mills’ insights.

We should be looking to implement the lessons from desistance research to inform more realistic responses to lawbreaking and compliance.

Presumptions and bars on short sentences have been disappointing at reducing sentencers’ use of short-term custody.

The growth in long prison sentences in England and Wales looks not only set to continue.

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Helen Mills

Centre for Crime and Justice Studies (Centre d'études criminelles et judiciaires)

Helen Mills is Head of Programmes at the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies. Helen is currently looking at the options for impactful sentencing reform as part of the Short Prison Sentencing project funded by the Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales.

About the project

Understanding and reducing the use of imprisonment in ten countries

This project has been led by the Institute for Crime and Justice Policy Research (ICPR). In selecting the ten jurisdictions included in the study, ICPR has worked with over fifty NGOs and practitioner organisations involved in criminal justice reform. ICPR partnered with Prison Insider in the latter stages of the project to shed light on key aspects of the research. Both organisations collected experts’ insights and facilitated the conversation around the most saliant themes covered by the research. The project focuses on five themes that can be found in the drop down menu.
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