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Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 8th October 2019.

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Photo of Jeff Smith Jeff Smith Opposition Whip (Commons)

What assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of sentences of less than six months in reducing reoffending.

Photo of Chris Philp Chris Philp The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

Sentencing must match the severity of the crime. Whilst there is evidence that short sentences do not help some offenders turn their backs on crime, protecting the public will always be our priority.

As part of our recent review, we have considered changes to sentencing for prolific offenders which could help break the cycle of reoffending.

We know that these offenders generally have multiple and complex needs which are linked to their offending behaviour, in particular drugs, alcohol and mental health needs. Solutions will often lie in effective community sentences.

We intend to bring forward a comprehensive package of reforms, including to community penalties to ensure they both punish and tackle the underlying drivers of offending.

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