Outline the Aims of Sentencing Essay

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Ray H
Outline the various aims of sentencing
There are various aims of sentencing within the English legal system that are considered when
choosing an appropriate sentence that will be present within the decision. It can be either one or a
combination of aims that the court will have for prosecuting a defendant. They are retribution,
reparation, rehabilitation, deterrence and protection of society.
Retribution is a key aim of sentencing. This is defined as justice being served for the criminals crime.
This is vengeance on behalf of the Queen and often referred to as `just desserts'.
Reparation is aimed at compensating the victim of the crime usually by ordering the offender to pay
order to reimburse the victim for their loss and or pain.
Furthermore another aim of rehabilitation of sentencing is to reform the offender and rehabilitate
them into society. It is a progressive aim, with the hopes that the offender's behaviour will be altered
by the penalty imposed, so that they will not re-offend in the future therefore reducing crime.
Also deterrence is additional aim and can be stated as individual or a general deterrence. Individual
deterrence is intended to insure that the offender does not re-offend through fear of future
punishment. General deterrence is aimed at preventing other potential offenders from committing
crimes. Both are aimed at reducing future levels of crime. An example of this is the 2011 riots were
courts gave harsher than normal sentences to deter further potential offenders from offending.
Finally protecting society by incarcerating offenders is also an aim that makes the offender incapable
of re-offending. Its also thought of a protecting the public from the criminal activities of the offender.
This is achieved by removing dangerous offenders from society through the use of long custodial
sentences for such offenders like murderers rapists and other violent offenders.


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