In a judgement dated 3 March 2023, the Court of Appeal held that the current high prison population in adult male prisons was, at present, an exceptional factor which could be properly taken into account by a sentencing judge, especially in relation to suspending what would otherwise be short immediate custodial sentences, in a similar manner to the situation that arose during the Covid-19 pandemic.
This judgement will have a significant impact on those borderline cases which are on the cusp of immediate custody. This judgement makes it clear that sentencing tribunals should consider the prison population and prison conditions, when deciding whether or not to suspend a period of imprisonment.
This briefing note was produced by Philip Stott, barrister, and Georgina Jenkins, pupil barrister.
You can read the Briefing Note HERE.