Sentence Adjournments, Sentencing Reforms & Prisoner Release – What we know so far

This week, the prison population rose to a record number of 88,225, a significant increase on the previous week and only around 500 places short of “operational capacity”, which is the maximum number of prisoners that can be held.

Andrea Albutt, president of the Prison Governor’s Association, said:

“If the government further overcrowd our prisons, if they say to our members’ you will put more people in your already overcrowded prison’, we will take legal action.”

Such comments make it unlikely that the government will try and force prison governors to take prisoners in excess of operational capacity.

The government had planned for an extra 20,000 prison places, but beset by planning law difficulties and other obstacles, so far, only around 5,500 of those places have been delivered.

As a result, it has been reported that the Lord Chancellor will make a statement to parliament on Monday 16th October 2023 and announce a number of reforms.

Likely reforms include:

A spokesperson for the Centre for Women’s Justice said:

“It is extremely worrying to hear that sentencing decisions for serious sexual offenders may be affected by a lack of resource in the prison estate. […] victims are already being badly let down by a justice system plagued by under-resourcing: lack of police resource to investigate their cases, backlogs in the courts meaning lengthy trial delays – this is another concern to add to that list.”

How can we help?

Salhan & Company is closely monitoring these developments so that we can provide our clients with up-to-date advice and help them achieve the best possible outcomes, regardless of their circumstances.

Read our previous blog on the latest rule changes to the minimum prison time for violent offences. 

If you are concerned that you may be accused of a criminal offence or you would like advice or representation in connection with a police investigation or criminal charges, contact us now on 0121 6056000 or email us.