Written Answer by Minister for Law, Mr K Shanmugam, to Parliamentary Question on Probation as Sentencing Options
8 May 2017 Posted in Parliamentary speeches and responses
Mr Murali Pillai (Member of Parliament for Bukit Batok SMC)
To ask the Minister for Law whether a review of offences punishable by mandatory or specified minimum sentences will be carried out to identify suitable offences for which community sentences or probation should be provided as sentencing options.
Community-based sentences (CBS) were first introduced as part of the amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code in 2010, to provide the Courts with greater flexibility in sentencing.
During the Second Reading in 2010, I had explained that CBS targets offences and offenders traditionally viewed by the Courts to suitable for the rehabilitation end of the spectrum. These include regulatory offences, offences involving younger accused persons and persons with specific and minor mental conditions.
We have gained experience from the administration of CBS these past few years, and are now reviewing the regime to see how it can be enhanced and refined. A core aspect of this review is the eligibility criteria of CBS, and whether it can be made available for more types of offences. Details of the review will be announced in due course.
However, we do not intend to extend CBS to offences with mandatory or specified minimum sentences. As CBS is intended primarily for more minor offences, it would not be suitable for offences which Parliament had considered serious enough for mandatory or specified minimum sentences to be imposed.
Last updated on 08 May 2017