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In June, the council which sets guidelines for judges issued a notice that highlighted “the concerns that many people have about the effect the Covid-19 emergency is having on conditions in prisons and the potentially heavier impact of custodial sentences on offenders and their families.”
The health crisis has put enormous stress on the country’s justice system, as it attempts to balance safety measures with ensuring justice is meted out.
Not everyone is sympathetic to the reasoning being applied by some judges, however. Tory MP Tim Loughton told The Times that the practice of handing out lighter sentences amounted to a “special summer sale” and a “Covid bonus for prisoners.”
The UK isn’t the only country to face issues surrounding coronavirus and its prison population. Across the United States, prisoners have been released early due to concerns about the disease, prompting criticisms and accusations that the policy has led to an uptick in violent crime in places like New York City.
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