LONDON - The British government is telling judges to impose lighter punishments on thieves and other petty criminals.
Justice Secretary Charles Falconer said that jail terms for some crimes, including burglary and theft, are too long and contribute to the overcrowding of the prison system, The Times of London reported Thursday.
The proposal would set a maximum jail sentence of 28 days for former prisoners who commit minor offenses while on parole.
Prime Minister Tony Blair rejected earlier proposals as too soft on crime and removed a provision from the current proposal that would have removed prison sentences for shoplifting cases involving goods worth less than $500.
Falconer said he would rather rely on judges to follow the new proposals rather than pushing legislation. He called on judges to make greater use of community service sentences.
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