Dealing With Offending Behaviour: Custodial Sentencing

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  • Dealing With Offending Behaviour: Custodial Sentencing
    • Aims of custodial sentencing
      • Deterrence
        • Unpleasant experience of prison is designed to put the individual off of repeating the same crime
          • Individual deterrence
        • Send a broad message to members of society that crime will not be tolerated
          • General deterrence
        • Based on the conditioning principles of punishment
      • Incapacitation
        • Protect the public by removing criminals
        • Need depends on the severity of the crime
          • E.g. serial murderers are more dangerous than council tax evaders
      • Retribution
        • Society getting revenge fro the crime by making the offender suffer
          • Level of suffering is relevant to the level of the crime
        • Prison is the best option of revenge
      • Rehabilitation
        • The offender learns new attitudes and values and stops being a criminal
        • The offender should be ready to take their place in society upon release
        • Prison should provide an opportunity to develop skills and access treatments for addiction and reflect on their crime
    • Psychological effects of custodial sentencing
      • Prison can lead to;
        • Stress and depression
          • Suicide rates and self-harm incidents are higher in prison than the general population
        • Institutionalisation
          • No longer being able to function outside of the prison setting - adapted to norms of the prison
        • Prisonisation
          • Behaviours that are unacceptable outside of prison are encouraged inside the prison
    • Recidivism
      • 57% of UK offenders reoffend within a year
        • Vary according to the type of offence committed
      • UK and US rates are the highest in the world
        • Norway - much lower rates - higher emphasis on rehabilitation
          • Soft punishment - not severe enough

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