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Reoffending figures show Ministers must look again at sentencing options

June 10, 2014 3:43 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrats have said the Justice Secretary must lead Alison McInnesAlison McInnesthe shift towards greater use of community sentences after new figures published today showed that offenders released from short custodial sentences had more than double the average number of reconvictions compared to those given community sentences.

The figures also showed little change in the number of offenders who reoffend following a release from a custodial sentence.

Commenting, Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Alison McInnes said:

"These figures provide yet more evidence that offenders who are given community sentences are much less likely to reoffend than those imprisoned for six months or less.

"With many prisons struggling to cope with huge populations, it makes sense to invest in community-based programmes that are working for offenders and for the communities which they are released into.

"At a cost of £3 billion each year, the Justice Secretary cannot afford to be complacent about cutting reoffending. It is his responsibility to lead a shift towards greater use of sentencing options that not only punish offenders but give them a real chance to change and make a positive contribution to the communities they have harmed.

"This would make our communities safer and our criminal justice system fairer."