There is a strong case to abolish sentences of six months or less, with some closely defined exceptions. We are therefore exploring options to restrict the use of short custodial sentences, but we have not at this stage reached any conclusions.
There is persuasive evidence showing that short custodial sentences do not work in terms of rehabilitation and helping some offenders turn their backs on crime. Community sentences, in certain circumstances, are more effective in reducing reoffending, and therefore keeping the public safe.
We do recognise that we must ensure the public and judiciary have confidence in non-custodial sentences which address offenders’ behaviour, answer their mental health and alcohol or drug misuse needs, or provide reparation for the benefit of the wider community.