Sunday, May 27, 2007

Sad Thought

Following on from yesterday's post, it has occurred to me this evening that if magistrates impose a prison sentence, the defendant is taken down there and then and will be in custody from that moment. If we make a community order its key elements may take weeks or months to be implemented (and by the way, the excellent Domestic Abuse Programme is full for the forseeable future and we are asked not to use it until further notice). Worse, if a drug treatment programme or psychiatric treatment appears to be the only way of preventing reoffending - we have no power to order it. We are reduced to pleading with probation or the Council or whomever. Is it surprising that some benches decide that prison is the only disposal that they can be sure will actually happpen?

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