§ Mr. John Patten
The proposals for a coherent statutory framework for sentencing set out in the White Paper "Crime, Justice and Protecting the Public" (Cm. 965) are intended to ensure that more offenders convicted of less serious, particularly property, offences are punished in the community. The national standards for community service orders, which came into effect on 1 April 1989, asked probation areas to ensure that community service placements are available for women offenders, including those who are pregnant, and offenders with young children. The new edition of "The Sentence of the Court", which reflects the Court of Appeal's guidance that custody should be used only when a court considers it absolutely necessary, refers specifically to women offenders with family responsibilities.