In brief: Bingham backs use of community service

The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Bingham, has called for greater use of community service when sentencing offenders. Delivering the annual Police Foundation lecture last week, Bingham attacked political and media rhetoric in favour of severe prison sentences. “In the public mind, I think that custody is generally seen as the only truly retributive or punitive sentence,” he said. “This is very unfortunate because of the inherent drawbacks of imprisonment, because the efficacy of imprisonment is in many cases open to question, because the cost of imprisoning offenders is very high and because the prison system is already bursting at the seams.”