Following the publication of the Justice Select Committee's report 'Prison population 2022: planning for the future', the MA's National Chair John Bache JP has said:
'There is much to welcome in today's comprehensive report from the Justice Committee on the use of prison, not least support for the introduction of judicial monitoring of community sentences, the provision of better quality community options, and more funding for magistrates' training.
'We remain unconvinced, however, that the introduction of a 'presumption against' short prison sentences is the best way to reduce their use, as sentencing guidelines are already clear that a short sentence must be only be used when there is no appropriate alternative.
'But we recognise the limitations of short prison sentences in reducing reoffending and would welcome opportunities to work with the government to consider where it might be possible to appropriately reduce their use.
'This should include considering how more effective measures could be used at an earlier stage to prevent reoffending, the availability of treatment options and other rehabilitative interventions, and how to respond appropriately to offenders who consistently fail to comply with community sentences.'