Prison Accommodation

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 29th January 2015.

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Photo of Sadiq Khan Sadiq Khan Shadow Minister (London), Shadow Lord Chancellor and Shadow Secretary of State for Justice, Shadow Lord Chancellor and Shadow Secretary of State for Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate his Department has made of the effect of section 28 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 on the number of prison places which are required.

Photo of Mike Penning Mike Penning The Minister of State, Home Department, The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

Knives on our streets are a social scourge, and under this Government, criminals carrying knives are more likely to go to prison and to get longer sentences. Unlawful possession of a knife or offensive weapon is already a serious criminal offence (which carries a maximum 4 year custodial sentence). We are building on that in the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill, to make it absolutely clear that cautions should no longer be used for these offences.

Parliament has also decided that those caught for a second time in possession of a knife should face a minimum custodial sentence.

The Ministry of Justice has undertaken an analysis of the prison places which would be required as a result of the implementation of section 28 of the Bill. This will be published alongside the final Impact Assessments for the Bill when it receives Royal Assent.

This Government will always ensure that we have enough prison places for those sent to us by the courts.

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