Webinar on short prison sentence reform

Online event via Zoom
17 July 2020 - 9:30am to 11:00am

This event is part of the Centre’s Short Prison Sentencing reform project, funded by the Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales.

About this webinar

There has been significant recent interest in reducing the use of short prison sentences. Last year, Scotland extended its presumption against short prison sentences. In England and Wales, plans to restrict sentencers' access to short term imprisonment were mooted but failed to progress.

The case for reform has been made on multiple grounds: proportionality, effectiveness at reducing reconvictions, morality, addressing underlying needs, as well as value for money considerations, and deteriorating conditions in the prison estate.

Despite the attention this issue has received, there are unresolved issues about how to achieve reductions in the use of short prison sentences through sentencing reform in practice.

This webinar will be taking forward these issues, discussing:

  • The experience from Scottish presumption against short sentences.
  • Coronavirus and prison sentencing.
  • The options, opportunities and pitfalls for developing this reform agenda in England and Wales.


  • Kenny MacAskill, MP for East Lothian, member of the Justice Select Committee, and former Scottish Justice Secretary.
  • Professor Sarah Armstrong, University of Glasgow.
  • Professor Cyrus Tata, Strathclyde University.
  • Professor Nicola Padfield, University of Cambridge.