48,000 offenders went 'straight to prison' in a year

The Government reiterated its support for stronger sentencing after campaigners said too many people with previous convictions were getting suspended sentences, pointing to the "48,000 offenders" who went straight to prison from June 2012/13.

Justice Minister Jeremy Wright said:

Since 2010 criminals are more likely to go to prison - and for longer.

In the 12 months to June 2013 almost 48,000 offenders didn't 'walk free' but went straight to prison - four times as many as got a suspended sentence.

It is right that the most serious offenders spend longer behind bars, which is why we are overhauling sentencing and making sure judges have tough sentencing options available to them.

But sentencing in individual cases is a matter for the independent judiciary based on the full facts of each case.

– Jeremy Wright

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Call for suspended sentences to be abolished

Suspended sentences are repeatedly handed out to serial offenders with previous convictions, campaigners said. A Freedom of Information request from the Centre for Crime Prevention found 31% of sentences handed out were suspended.