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Judges have been told to jail fewer people due to the capacity crisis in the prison systems

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At the start of March there were 83,990 prisoners in England and Wales meaning that prisons were 1,200 prisoners short of the prison system’s useable operational capacity.

What does this mean for me and my case?

The new advice as a result of a result of the case of Arie Ali recently heard in the Court of Appeal means that some convicted individuals who would normally have been handed a short prison term may now receive a suspended or community sentence instead.

It has been argued that operating very close to prison capacity will have consequences for the conditions in which prisoners are held as serving prisoners will be serving sentences in more crowded conditions and have reduced access to rehabilitative programmes.

It has been advised that Courts should have an awareness of the impact of the current prison population levels when passing sentence.

Does this mean I will avoid going to prison?

This advice will primarily apply to those expected to receive a short sentence and will only apply to sentences passed during this time of crisis.

Avoiding custody– How we can help?

At Johnson Astills we have a criminal team who regularly deal with a variety of offences and vigorously argue for sentences which avoid an immediate custodial sentence.

Our specialist solicitors and crown court advocates in the Criminal Defence Team are highly experienced in dealing with all criminal matters at both the Magistrates’ and Crown Court.

If you find yourself facing any offence it is vital to contact a solicitor as soon as possible to obtain expert legal advice. Representation at the police station is free, and legal aid may be available for your case at the Magistrates’ and Crown Court. For offences which do not qualify for legal aid, we offer fixed fees for appointments and representation.

To discuss any offences please contact our Criminal Defence Team at Johnson Astills at our Leicester office on 0116 2554855 or our Loughborough office on 01509 610312