What a great idea! Let's get rid of the judges' authority to include two-for-one sentencing where the good for nothin' low-lifes get out an extra day early for every day they spend in pre-trial custody. (Insert sarcasm smilie here).
Great! The Conservative government wants to stop judges giving 2 for 1 credit for pre-trial custody. However, what the public may not realize is that those same judges have the discretionary power to impose an overall sentence that includes a minimum or maximum amount of jail time. For example, a judge may sentence someone to five years in jail with 2 for 1 credit for pre-trial custody. If the convicted person had one year of pre-trial custody, there will be three years left. If one includes parole after 2/3 of the sentence, that person will be on the street in 3 1/3 years. Including the 2 for 1 pre-trial credit, that person could be out in 1 1/3 years after sentencing. That person may serve a total of 2 2/3 years in locked custody.
If the Conservatives succeed in getting rid of 2 for 1 pre-trial custody, then judges may give credit through the back door. For example, instead of a judge giving a five-year sentence, he or she may impose of three and a half year sentence. A convicted person will have served one year of pre-trial custody. That person will be eligible for full parole after serving 2 1/3 years. With one year already served in pre-trial custody, that person will be on parole in 1 1/3 years after sentencing.
To compensate for the loss of 2 for 1 pre-trial custody credits, the judges could impose shorter sentences. The results will be the same amount of time served by those convicted and sentenced to jail.