The MA has published an initial response to the Sentencing Council's draft 'The Overarching Principles: Sentencing Offenders with Mental Health Conditions or Disorders' guideline, which was published today.
Commenting on the guideline, John Bache JP, the MA's National Chair, said:
'The MA is concerned that the guideline the Sentencing Council are proposing for those with mental health conditions or disorders will not, in isolation, be effective in ensuring consistency of sentencing for this cohort.
'The biggest issue causing inconsistency is a lack of appropriate community options offering treatment or support for vulnerabilities linked to offending behaviour. It is also likely that without adequate assessments being done to identify relevant vulnerabilities, sentencers will not have sufficient information to take account of any guideline.'