Home Affairs Committee Press Notice


The Home Affairs Committee today launched an inquiry entitled “Towards Effective Sentencing”. It wishes to follow-up the Committee’s Third Report of 1997-98 (Alternatives to Prison Sentences (HC 486)); scrutinise the implementation of the sentencing aspects of the Criminal Justice Act 2003; and assess the Government’s proposals in its recent consultation paper “Making Sentencing Clearer” and the responses to that consultation.

The Committee wishes to establish whether current sentencing practice fulfils the aims of the Criminal Justice Act 2003.  It will pay particular attention to decisions on whether to use custodial or non-custodial sentences.

The Committee also intends to review the process by which sentencing guidelines are agreed, following the changes contained in the Criminal Justice Act 2003.

The Committee is seeking written submissions of no more than 3,000 words from interested parties, before it takes oral evidence on this inquiry. Organisations and individuals interested in making written submissions are invited to do so by Thursday 8 March 2007. Further advice on making a submission can be found below.

Session 2006-07/10 6 February 2007


The purposes of sentencing, as set out in the Criminal Justice Act 2003, are as follows:
• The punishment of offenders
• The reduction of crime (including its reduction by deterrence)
• The reform and rehabilitation of offenders
• The protection of the public
• The making of reparation by offenders to persons affected by their offences

Written evidence should if possible be in Word or rich text format-not PDF format-and sent by e-mail  to homeaffcom@parliament.uk. The use of colour and expensive-to-print material e.g. photographs should be avoided. The body of the e-mail must include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. The e-mail should also make clear who the submission is from.

Submissions must address the terms of reference. They should be in the format of a self-contained memorandum. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference, and the document must include an executive summary. Further guidance on the submission of evidence can be found at www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/witness.cfm.

Submissions should be original work, not previously published or circulated elsewhere, though previously published work can be referred to in a submission and submitted as supplementary material. Once submitted, your submission becomes the property of the Committee and no public use should be made of it unless you have first obtained permission from the Clerk of the Committee. Please bear in mind that Committees are not able to investigate individual cases.

The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to publish the written evidence it receives, either by printing the evidence, publishing it on the internet or making it publicly available through the Parliamentary Archives. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure; the Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.

For data protection purposes, it would be helpful if individuals wishing to submit written evidence send their contact details in a covering letter or e-mail. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Note to editors: The Committee membership is as follows:

Rt Hon John Denham (Chairman) (Lab) (Southampton Itchen)
Mr Richard Benyon (Con) (Newbury)
Mr Jeremy Browne (Lib Dem) (Taunton)
Ms Karen Buck (Lab) (Regent’s Park & Kensington North)
Mr James Clappison (Con) (Hertsmere)
Mrs Ann Cryer (Lab) (Keighley)
Mrs Janet Dean (Lab) (Burton)
Margaret Moran (Lab) (Luton South)
Gwyn Prosser (Lab) (Dover)
Bob Russell (Lib Dem) (Colchester)
Martin Salter (Lab) (Reading West)
Mr Richard Spring (Con) (West Suffolk)
Mr Gary Streeter (Con) (South West Devon)
Mr David Winnick (Lab) (Walsall North)


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Specific Committee Information:  Tel 020 7219 3276, email: homeaffcom@parliament.uk

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