An email passed to PRWeek reveals the Home Office clearly briefed political journalists that people convicted of carrying a knife would have to visit Accident &Emergency wards.
The email, sent by the Home Office to certain political journalists last Friday, says people convicted of carrying a knife will be 'confronted with the dangers of carrying knives through: a) visits to A&E to see the impact of knife wounds; b) meeting the families of knife victims to understand their pain'.
The Home Office had sent the email on Friday to brief the national press on the forthcoming launch of the Government's £100m Youth Crime Action Plan.
Weekend headlines focused on the hospital visitation element of the plans.
On Sunday, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith was interviewed by Sky News' Adam Boulton and agreed with the journalist's assertion that 'people caught carrying knives should be taken to see people in hospital who have been stabbed'.
A second wave of negative press coverage came on Monday, after the College of Emergency Medicine attacked the proposals.
Smith then claimed the media had 'misinterpreted' the plans.
'I never said, and nor would it be sensible, for young people to be trailed through A&E wards while people were being served,' she insisted.