UK Justice Secretary Jack Straw has appealed today to Magistrates asking they hand out fewer custodial sentences. Current UK Prison populations are already higher than next months projected figures, rekindling concerns over prison overcrowding.
The appeal calls for Magistrates to hand out alternate methods of punishment instead of simply awarding jail time. According to Jack Straw "The probation service has become more effective."
Jack Straw also noted: "We have 350 magistrates courts in England and Wales. If each one ends up sentencing one more extra prisoner a week to jail then we have got the increase we face".