The different aims of sentencing and the types of sentences available

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  • Created by: Emma
  • Created on: 14-03-13 10:57

Aims of Sentencing

The overall main aim is to achieve justice

There are minimum and maximum sentence available

There are four indiviudal main aims of sentencing

There are guidelines judges have to follow


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Aims of Sentencing: Retribution

This is based on the idea that a crime deserves to be met by punishment.

"An eye for an eye"

This includes being jailed, unpaid work in the community or a fine.

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Aims of sentencing: Deterrence

This is aimed at reducing future levels of crime.


There are two types of deterrance:

  • General - To deter other potential offenders by making an example of offenders
  • Individual - To deter D from re-offending
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Aims of sentencing: Reform and Rehabilitation

This is when the sentence is to try and repair D's character and make a better person. The aim is to remove the cause of the problem, for example, alcohol/drugs.


This is often seen as having a negative effect, as it can be difficult for offenders to find a job upon release, leading to re-offending

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Aims of sentencing: Protection

This keeps the public safe from the offender

For dangerous offenders, prison is the only option, but this is only effective for when they are inside.

Other examples inclue a curfew or exclusion.


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Aims of sentencing: Reparation



This is payment of compensation to the victim through resorative justice which gives victims the chance to tell offenders the impact of the crime on their life, and receive an apology

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Sentences available: Custodial

This can include life imprisonment and discretionary life, often in cases of murder. For life imprisonment, the judges set a minimum term according to the type of murder. Discretionary Life includes offences such as S18 GBH.

This can also include suspended sentences, where the offender is given a time in which they cannot reoffend, or they will face the sentence.

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Sentences available: Community Sentence

This is non-custodial and can include:

 - unpaid work up to 300 hours

- a curfew

- alcohol treatment

- supervision order

- exclusions from a certain area

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Sentences available: Financial

These can include fines

There is a maximum of £500 in the magistrates court, but unlimited in the crown court

This can also include a compensation order

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Sentences available: Discharge

There are two types of discharge:

Absoloute - Imposes no penalty (goes on record but no further action)

Conditional - If further offence is committed in the stated tiem period given then original sentence can be resentenced

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Sentences available: restorative justice




This aims to rehabilitate the offender so they face up to their crime

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