Aims of Sentencing

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  • Aims of sentencing
    • Retribution - imposing a punishment because the offender deserves punishment. The sentence given is in proportion to the offence. It doesn't not seek to reduce crime or alter the offender's future behaviour.
      • Usually involves imprisonment based on the severity of the crime. For example, a category 1 crime (one that could have serious injury) has a starting point of 1 year 6 months' custody.
    • Deterrence - giving a punishment with the aim of putting off the defendant from re-offending due to fear of the punishment. It could also put off other potential offenders from committing similar crimes.
      • General deterrence - deterring potential offenders.
      • Individual deterrence - putting off the individual offender from committing similar crimes in future.
      • Sentencing can include a prison sentence, a suspended sentence or a heavy fine.
    • Protection of the public - dangerous offenders are imprisoned to keep the public safe.
      • This could be imprisonment (as stated in the Criminal Justice Act 2003) or for less serious offences there could be bans like dangerous drivers being disqualified from driving.
    • Reform/Rehabilitation - trying to reform the offender's behavior so they don't offend in future.
      • Offenders will usually be given a community order, where the court order you to complete various requirements to rehabilitate.
    • Reparation - the offender compensates the victim or society for their offending behaviour.
      • This could include paying a sum of money to the victim, making restitution, for example returning stolen  property, or doing unpaid work requirement to make reparation to society.
    • Denunciation - a sentence that aims to show that society disapproves of criminal behaviour and reinforces what is moral. It can mould society's views on particular conduct - for example, people view drink driving as unacceptable because of the severity of the sentences being increased.
      • Sentences include imprisonment, bans and heavy fines.

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