Parole in England and Wales: Recent Reforms and Proposals for the Future

Authors: Gavin Dingwall and Megan Millar   This report examines recent changes to parole in England and Wales and considers proposals for the future. It also explores a number of areas of research that would benefit from greater attention to ensure that future reforms are underpinned by the best possible evidence.   Read the full […]

Sentencing Guidance, the Sentencing Council, and Black & Ethnic Minority Offenders

By Professor Julian V. Roberts and Professor Andrew Ashworth   Our new paper by Professor Julian V. Roberts and Professor Andrew Ashworth examines the guidance currently provided by the Sentencing Council in respect of ethnic disparities in sentence outcomes and considers what this guidance may require sentencers to do in practice.   Read the full […]

Public Knowledge of Sentencing Practice and Trends

The Sentencing Academy has published a new report exploring public understanding of sentencing in England and Wales. Public Knowledge of Sentencing Practice and Trends is authored by Professor Julian V. Roberts, Dr Jonathan Bild, Dr Jose Pina-Sánchez and Professor Mike Hough and is based on polling conducted for the Sentencing Academy by YouGov in September […]

Intoxication and Sentencing

By Carly Lightowlers   Alcohol and drug related offending present a perennial criminal justice challenge. Not only are illicit drug and alcohol use associated with offences where intoxication is an element of the offence, such as driving under the influence, but intoxication is a contributory factor in many crimes (Lightowlers and Pina-Sánchez 2017). Indeed, in […]

Sentencing Academy Fellowship Scheme

During the course of 2020/21, the Sentencing Academy ran a Fellowship Scheme as part of our commitment to furthering knowledge on sentencing issues and widening participation. Anisa Kebbati and Jamie Dickson were supervised to produce a piece of research on a sentencing issue of their choice and we are very grateful to Dr Shona Minson […]

Respect and Legitimacy at Sentencing: November 2021

By Gabrielle Watson   This paper introduces the concepts of respect and legitimacy and considers their relevance to sentencing practice in England and Wales.   A review of research reveals that relatively little is known about defendants’ perceptions of legitimacy at sentencing, and even less about their perceptions of respect, despite the dominance of these […]

Defendants’ Understanding of Sentencing

By Jessica Goldring   The sentencing framework is premised on an assumption that defendants understand how the process works and will respond accordingly. For example, they will be deterred by the prospect of longer sentences or will enter a guilty plea at the first opportunity to maximise their sentence reduction.   Without a full understanding […]

Ethnicity And Custodial Sentencing

Julian V. Roberts and Jonathan Bild   Are sentencing outcomes different for ethnic minority defendants? Which ethnic groups attract the harshest sentences? Over the past 30 years a number of official reports have addressed the role of race and ethnicity in criminal justice decision-making. Although several studies have focused on sentencing, to date, no review […]

Community Orders

By Eoin Guilfoyle   Magistrates and judges have a range of custodial and non-custodial options to choose from when sentencing an individual convicted of an offence in England and Wales.   The custodial options are either various forms of immediate imprisonment or a Suspended Sentence Order (technically a custodial sentence served in the community on […]

Out Of Court Disposals

By Cerys Gibson   This report describes the current status of adult out of court disposals1 in England and Wales and draws on a review of relevant research over the period 2010-2020. It focuses on the efficiency and effectiveness of the system of out of court disposals in reducing reoffending and improving victim satisfaction in […]

The Effectiveness Of Sentencing Options

By Melissa Hamilton   The purposes of sentencing were first specified in statute in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 and include punishment and the prevention of crime. This paper focuses on the possible preventive effectiveness of key criminal sanctions.   Re-offending rates are the most common measure of effectiveness – although others have been proposed […]