The part where I stopped being quite so supportive is where they propose the following:-
" measures put in place for courts to have information on the impact on the children of a defendant of any sentence they may make"
To me this pushes the blame for the suffering of children onto the nasty Magistrates, when the blame properly belongs with the criminal parents, who should have thought about the effect on their families before doing the crime.
I've put a total of three people in prison in the course of my year so far, and in all of these cases the person had numerous warnings and last chances but still persisted in offending to the point where custody became inevitable. Should I really have thought "Hmmm - this one's got kids - she gets a curfew. But that one hasn't - he goes down" ?
Bad people should go to prison when they do bad enough things.
That's not something that should be changed - but I do hope that the State and charities like Barnardo's work out a way to cushion the blow for the kids.