Judges may weigh up self-harm risks

Courts could be made to take the risk of self-harm into account
when sentencing vulnerable offenders to custody.

In response to the Joint Committee on Human Rights’ third report on
deaths in custody, the government said the recommendation had been
put to the Sentencing Guidance Council for consideration.

The committee recommended that magistrates and judges should
receive feedback on sentencing decisions, including when offenders
sentenced to custody self-harmed or committed suicide.

However, the government refused the committee’s call for a public
inquiry into the death of 16-year-old Joseph Scholes, who hanged
himself at Stoke Heath Young Offender Institution in March 2002.

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