Tue. May 21st, 2024

The criminal courts in England and Wales have been instructed to delay sentencing hearings due to overcrowding in prisons, according to The Times. It has also been reported that government officials are considering early releases of current inmates to ease the pressure on prison facilities.
Lord Justice Edis, the senior presiding judge for England and Wales, has ordered the postponement of sentencing for convicted criminals who are currently on bail until Monday, as stated by the newspaper.
A senior Crown Court judge revealed that judges have been “ordered/strongly encouraged” not to send defendants who are on bail to prison in order to prevent further strain on the already overcrowded prisons. However, the judge expressed uncertainties about the duration of this “short-term measure.”
The judge expressed concerns about the potential release of individuals accused of sexual offenses such as historic rape, rape involving a child under 13, and other sexual assaults, even if they are found guilty. There are worries about releasing convicted offenders back into the community, especially if they may come into contact with their victims.
According to The Metro News, as of last Friday, the prison population in England and Wales was 88,016, just 654 below capacity based on figures from the Ministry of Justice.
The government’s pledge to construct 20,000 new prisons, a significant promise in the Conservative manifesto during the 2019 election, has been silently abandoned. Plans for three new prisons in Lancashire, Leicestershire, and Buckinghamshire have all been delayed due to issues with planning permission. Justice secretary Alex Chalk raised a potential solution at the annual Conservative Party Conference last week.
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