Early guilty plea scheme could increase prison population, say MPs

February 11, 2016

Justice select committee issues warning over proposals to allow offenders reduced sentences in return for prompt guilty pleas


The changes to sentencing could also have an adverse impact on offenders with mental health problems, say MPs. Photograph: Paul Faith/PA



Plans to tighten rules allowing offenders to receive reduced sentences in return for early guilty pleas must be delayed in case they lead to a surge in the prison population, MPs have said.


Defendants told to plead guilty earlier to receive lower sentences


Up to 4,000 additional places for inmates may be needed if proposals from the Sentencing Council go ahead, according to the justice select committee. The justice secretary, Michael Gove, has also signalled his concern at the revised scheme.