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To ask the Secretary of State for Justice with reference to the answer of 30 April 2012, Official Report, column 1156W, on the early guilty plea scheme, what additional credits will be applied to sentences which are handed down after a defendant has pleaded guilty under the scheme; and what assessment he has made of the likely effect on the size of the prison population.
The early guilty plea scheme is an initiative of the Senior Presiding Judge aimed at identifying earlier, and dealing more swiftly with, those cases where a defendant is likely to plead guilty.
There is no additional credit given to defendants pleading guilty under the scheme. Any sentence credit offered for an early plea is in line with current sentencing guidance. In view of this, no assessment of its effects on the size of the prison population was undertaken.