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Volume 931: debated on Wednesday 11 May 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what measures he intends to take either to encourage or require sheriff courts of summary procedure to consider a social inquiry report prior to imposing sentence of imprisonment on persons aged 21 years and over, irrespective of the number of previous convictions of that person.

My right hon. Friend is considering the possibility of extending the present "first offenders" legislation to cover all persons who have not previously served a custodial sentence.