§ Simon Hughes
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the likely impact of custody plus on the number of people sentenced to a period of imprisonment of under 12 months in each of the next five years. 
§ Hilary Benn
[holding answer 2 December 2002]: Final decisions have not yet been made about when the sentencing reforms in the Criminal Justice Bill—including custody plus—will be implemented.
In modelling the potential impact of the new sentences, it has been assumed that the number of offenders receiving custody plus under the new framework will be broadly similar to the numbers of offenders sentenced to imprisonment of under 12 months now but that a small number of those offenders currently receiving sentences of under 12 months would receive sentences of over 12 months in the new framework, while some would receive community sentences. In addition we have assumed that a quarter of those currently receiving sentences of between one and three months would receive custody minus. The Government will encourage sentencers to use penalties other than custody wherever appropriate.