Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Drop short jail terms, says IoM criminal justice review

Short jail terms could be dropped in favour of community sentences, according to a criminal justice review.

The proposals, put forward by the Department of Home Affairs, would affect all offenders given sentences of less than 12 months.

Budgets could then be spent on rehabilitation instead of keeping prisoners locked up, it said.

Home Affairs Minister Juan Watterson said the aim was for a "faster, simpler and more cost efficient" system.

"Recorded crime in the Isle of Man is at its lowest level for more than 45 years," he said.

"We must look to the future and drive forward further reform," he said.

Changes to the island's criminal justice system were proposed and debated by Tynwald members in December 2012.

Other proposals include issuing fixed penalties for disorderly behaviour and introducing a system called "deferred sentencing" for "remorseful" offenders.

The latter is described in the report as a "last chance option" and would mean sentencing would be put on hold until the offender has been given a chance to repair the harm caused by their crime.

A public consultation on the proposed reforms will run until 19 September.

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