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Drugs: Prison Sentences

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 58863, tabled on 19 October 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of introducing longer prison sentences for those who deal class A drugs.

Answered on

27 October 2021

Sentencing in individual cases is entirely a matter for our independent courts, taking into account the circumstances of each case and following any relevant sentencing guidelines issued by the independent Sentencing Council.

The maximum penalty for supplying, offering to supply, or intent to supply class A drugs is life imprisonment. Additionally, in recognition of the seriousness of these offences, in England and Wales, the law provides a mandatory minimum sentence of 7 years in custody for repeat offenders who have been convicted of these offences on three or more occasions, unless there are particular circumstances relating to the offender or the offence which would make it unjust to do so.

Provisions in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, currently before Parliament, will ensure that the courts in England and Wales only depart from passing at least the minimum sentence in exceptional circumstances.