Some of the key questions considered and debated were:
- What do you think about sentencing? Is it too lenient, too harsh or about right?
- What is the impact of prison sentencing on victims, offenders, and the community?
- Is the impact of sentencing effective for the offender?
Informed by information from the Sentencing Council, tabletop exercises, statistics about the prison system, and real life stories, including the parents of a victim of serious crime, young people discussed restorative justice, different types of sentences and the impact on victims and the community.
This was a pilot event with young people in response to the publication in 2022 of ‘Making sense of sentencing – Doing justice to both victim and prisoner’ by the Independent Commission into the Experience of Victims and Long-term Prisoners. The report’s principal recommendation was for a national debate which considers the content as well as the length of sentences and the wider impacts, engaging with the public and the media to bring greater understanding about sentencing. Bishop Rachel’s hypothesis is that much of this debate needs to be had with young people if there is any possibility of changing the public narrative going forward.