Sentencing

HideShow resource information

Aims of Sentencing

The aims of sentencing are set out in the Criminal Justice Act 2003.

Retribution-When a person is punished based on the crime the committed. The mantra let the punishment for the crime fits to the idea of retribution.

Denunciation- When the public get the opportunity to show their outrage and disgust at the offender. The public get to condemn the offender

Deterrence (General)- When an offender is given an extremely high and harsh sentence so that the public see the reprecussions of committing that crime and are out off of committing the crime. This aims cares not for the fairness of the law.

Deterrence (Individual)- When an individual is given a harsh sentence for a minor crime (such as petty theft being given a custodial sentence) or being threatened with imprisonment (suspended sentence)

1 of 11

Aims of sentencing (continued)

Reparation- When the person who committed the crime is given the oppurtuninty to repair and or repay any damages that they caused to a community or a person. This aim is often enforced through a community sentence order.

Rehabilitation- This aim intends on reforming an individual's behaviour by getting them to stop whatever they did previously and prove to themselves they do not need to do what they did. This is done through rehabilitation clinics, custodial and community sentences. Often community sentences are more efficient.

Protection of the public- The aim of this is to prevent the offender from causing any harm to any members of the public. This is usually done by a restraining order or community sentences

2 of 11

Factors taken into account when sentencing

When sentencing an individual the judges must take into account all important factors. These factors are...
-The antecedents of the defendant
-Mitagating factors (factors that slightly justify the crime)
-Aggrivating factors (factors that make the crime worse)
-The nature and seriousness of the crime
-The tariffs in the Criminal Justice Act 2003

3 of 11

Custodial sentences for adults

Mandatory life sentences- Are sentence avaliable to adults for the crime of murder. The minimum term to serve before release on licence ranges from 15 years to the rest of the offenders life. Tariffs for mandatory sentences are set out in the CJA 2003
Discretionary life sentences- Are sentences for adults who commit serious crimes but the judge can impose a lesser sentence if it is more appropriate.
Fixed term sentences-Are avaliable to adults and they are sentences where only half the sentence is served if good behaviour is shown
Home detention curfew- Is a sentence with early release from prison on a curfew
Indeterminate sentences- Are sentences availiable for dangerous adults to protect the public
Extended sentences- Are custodial sentences avaliable for adults where they serve the full sentence of their crime and then is is followed by an extension on licence
Minimum sentences- Are sentences for adults that are imprisoned for class A drugs
Suspended sentences-Are sentences of 28-51 weeks after serving a prison sentence of up to two years. Sentence of suspension only has to be completed if the offender re-offends

4 of 11

Community sentences and fines for adults

The generic community  order sentences for adults are set out in the CJA 2003 which includes 12 requirements for what the offenders must do if they are 18+. Some of the sentences are...
-Unpaid work requirement (40-300 hours)
-Supervision requirement (under supervision of probation officer)
-Drug treatment and testing requirement
-Curfew requirements

Fines
Fines are unlimited for the Crown Court but they are limited to £5,000 in the Magistrates court.
An adult can also be given and absoloute or conditional charge and can also have their driving licence disqualified

5 of 11

Custodial sentences for young offenders

Detention at Her Majesties pleasure- Is the sentence given to a young offender who commits murder. The judge will recommend a minimum term
Young offenders institutions- For 18-20 year old offenders are avaliable, they range from 21 days to the maximum for that specific sentence. The offender is transferred to prison if they turn 21 before the end of their sentence
Detention and training orders-Are sentences availiable for young offenders but only for persistant offenders. If the offender is under 15 they can have a maximum 24 month sentence in a detention facility.
Detention for a serious crime- Is availiable allowing a young person to be detained for a long period, up to the maximum for the offence.

6 of 11

Community sentences and fines for youth offenders

The Youth rehabilitation order brought in by the Criminal Justice and Immagration Act 2008 includes 18 requirements foryoung offenders. This is the equivalent of a community order but for a young offender aged 10-18. Some requirements are...
-Education requirement
-Activity requirement
-Programme requirement
-Unpaid work requirement
-Drug testing requirement
-Attendance centre requirement
-Supervision requirement

Fines
Fines depend on the age of the offender. For a 10-13 year old the maximum fine is £250 and for a 14-17 year old the maximum is £1000.

7 of 11

Evaluation of Custodial sentences

Avantages
-The offenders cannot commit another crime whilts they are in prison so the public are protected
-The offenders can rehabilitate

Disadvantages
-65% of prisoners usually reoffend
-Prisoners can gain criminal knowledge
-Prisons are crowded and ineffective for rehabilitation
-Ex prisoners have less chance of getting jobs and therefore may need to re-offend
-Family breakdowns can occur in prison making the prisoner want to re-offend
-There is a better way to deal with those who don't pay council tax rather than prison
-Population size of prisoners in Britain is too high
-Conditions in UK prisons are poor and suicide rates are high.

8 of 11

Evaluation of Community sentences

Advantages
-Less disruptive to the offenders life style than prison as the offender can go home at night
-Most offenders who are given supervision orders find them to be useful as it allows them to talk through their issues
-Community sentences are cheaper than custody
-Unpaid work gives a sense of acheivement
-Progress in the field of tagging shows a lack of a need for imprisonment for offenders

Disadvantages
-Tagging is degrading
-Re-offending rates are high
-Crime prevention is more likely to stop a crime than any other sentence

9 of 11

Evaluation of Fines

Advantages
-
Bring quick revenue for the courts
-A quick penalty for minor cases
-Linked to the ability to pay


Disadvantages
-Problems collecting fines as Magistrates do no always set fines to come out of wage or benefits
-Under the CJA 2003 a person can do unpaid work to pay off a fine at £6 an hour though the superviser who supervises them still needs paying and they are more expensive

10 of 11

Evaluation of Fines

Advantages
-
Bring quick revenue for the courts
-A quick penalty for minor cases
-Linked to the ability to pay


Disadvantages
-Problems collecting fines as Magistrates do no always set fines to come out of wage or benefits
-Under the CJA 2003 a person can do unpaid work to pay off a fine at £6 an hour though the superviser who supervises them still needs paying and they are more expensive

11 of 11

Comments

No comments have yet been made

Similar Law resources:

See all Law resources »See all Sentencing resources »