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38,000 go to prison without being convicted.

MORE than 38,000 people were sent to prison last year even though they were never convicted of the crime they were accused of.

Figures from the Ministry of Justice have revealed the number of prisoners who were sent to prison on remand and then never convicted.

They were published in response to questions from Lord Beecham, a Newcastle councillor and former city council leader who is a Labour Shadow Justice Minister in the House of Lords.

He said: "The Government need to reduce significantly the number of prisoners on remand pending trial, a significant proportion of whom will be found not guilty or, if guilty, receive light, often non-custodial sentences."

Courts can order people accused of a crime to be placed on remand while they are awaiting trial.

Justice Minister Lord Keen of Elie revealed that 32,238 people dealt with by a magistrates court were held on remand in 2016 and never convicted.

They included people who were found not guilty, and cases where a trial simply never took place.

Another 6,524 people dealt with at a crown court were held on remand but never convicted.

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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Sep 20, 2017
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