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Short Update: UK's House of Lords question government's plans on short prison sentences

FairTrialsAdmin - July 2, 2020 - COVID-19 Updates, prison conditions

On 29 June, the House of Lords questioned the government on its plans to reduce the number of short prison sentences.   

During the discussion, Lord Garnier noted the impact COVID-19 has been prisoners remaining in their cells for up to "23 hours a day, essentially living in a share lavatory with no access to purposeful activity, fresh air or rehabilitation courses." He queried whether all custodial sentences of six months of less should be immediately suspended during this time. Lord Keen of Elie explained that the prison services may review the position of short sentences if this was imposed by the judiciary. Nonetheless, citing the recent Court of Appeal case (Regina v Christopher Manning), he concluded that custodial sentences during the pandemic were likely to be heavier. 

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If you are a journalist interested in this story, please telephone Fair Trials’ press department on +44 (0) 20 7822 2370 or +32 (0) 2 360 04 71.

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