Consultation on Proposals to Strengthen the Presumption against Short Periods of Imprisonment

Closed 16 Dec 2015

Opened 25 Sep 2015

Results updated 26 May 2016



Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


This consultation paper seeks your views on proposals to extend the current presumption against short sentences of three months or less, along with other  proposals to reduce the use of short-term imprisonment.

These proposals are one part of the Scottish Government's ongoing and wide-ranging work to reduce the use of short-term imprisonment in Scotland. This also includes: a continued emphasis on community alternatives to custody; developing a strengthened electronic monitoring service; establishing an improvement project focused on reducing inappropriate use of remand and the use of short sentences; and increased access to community-based justice services

This paper provides some background on the current presumption against short sentences and the impact that the presumption has had on sentencing practice in Scotland.

Chapters 4 and 5 of this paper set out specific questions around potential mechanisms to reduce the use of short-term imprisonment which we are seeking  your views on.

Why your views matter

These are wide ranging and complex issues, and your responses will be critical in informing decisions on the future use of short-term imprisonment and the role of prisons in Scotland.

They will also inform decisions around how we can deliver improvements within our criminal justice system, providing genuine opportunities for people to pay back to their communities and to become contributing members of Scottish society.