The Independent Commission into the Experience of Victims and Long-term Prisoners met at the House of Lords on Tuesday 22 November to discuss their report “Making Sense of Sentencing”.
The Commission are calling for a fundamental reassessment of the policy and practice of sentencing for the most serious of crimes. RLC member Michelle Nelson KC sat as an expert panel member on The Commission which was chaired by Bishop James Jones, former Bishop of Liverpool and of Prisons, and former Chair of the Hillsborough Independent Panel.
According to the Commission, the number of people given a prison sentence of more than 10 years has more than doubled in a decade yet the constant increase in sentence length, at ever greater cost to the taxpayer, has failed to achieve the results which legislators desired.
Drawing on evidence received from both victims and prisoners, and a range of criminal justice experts, the Commission concluded in a report published 15 June 2022 – that sentencing for serious offences had lost its way and was not working for victims, prisoners, or society as a whole.
The debate in the House of Lords examined the latest findings in the report, investigating how serious crime is punished looking at both the treatment of perpetrators and the attention given to victims and their families once sentence had been passed.