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Aims of Sentencing

  • The Criminal Justice Act 2003 sets out 5 aims of sentencing:
  • Rehabilitation - this looks to the future, the offender changes his ways by learning new skills such as literacy, employment etc. This aim addresses negative behaviour.
  • Detterance - this looks to the future, it puts the individual and the public of from offending by the unpleasent experience. The public see it as an example of what would happen to them if they offended.
  • Retribution - this looks back at the past crime and punishes the offender for it. This aim is based on the principle of ''an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth'' so the sentence must fit the crime and be in proportion with it, e.g. life sentence for murder {a life for a life}. It is also based on the idea of just deserts, i.e. the offender gets the punishment he deserves; this reflects his moral blame. An offender shouldn't be given a sentence more/less than what they deserve. Myra Hindley and Ian Brady were sentenced to life imprison meaning life; this sentence allowed them to be punished for their terrible crimes.
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Aims of Sentencing

  • Public Protection - this looks to the future. It aims to keep the public safe from further harm by the offender. It is important that the public are protected from dangerous criminals, where there is a significant risk of serious harm from a dangerous offender the courts must send them to prison. The courts can also add an extra period to the offenders sentence so he can be supervised after release from prison. For less serious offences the public can be protected in other ways, i.e. dangerous drivers are banned from driving. In R v Winkler (2004) a football fan guilty of fighting at a match was banned for 6 yrs from going to Oldham town centre on match days and from going within half a mile of any stadium, this sentence protected the public from any future harm from his football hoolaganism.
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Aims of Sentencing

  • Reparation - this looks back to the past crime and puts right any wrong done. Instead of being punished the offender 'repairs the harm done' by making amends to the V and/or the community. This can include compensation, D pays the V money or returns stolen goods, OR he may be sentenced to do unpaid work for the community, i.e. pick up litter, paint public buildings. In 1995 Eric Cantona, a Man U football player was sentenced to 120 hrs of unpaid work teaching young children football skills after he kicked a Crystal Palace fan; the sentence allowed him to ''repair the harm done'' to the community.
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The type of sentence to achieve the aim

  • Custody - the offender serves his sentence away from the community. Over 18yrs in prison. 14-17yrs inclusive at a young offenders institution. 10-13yrs inclusive at a local authority care.
  • Community Sentence - D serves his sentence in the community e.g. unpaid work requirment {community payback}, curfew, drug/alcohol testing or treatment, programme requirment, supervision. 
  • Fines or Compensation
  • Discharge from the court - Conditional Discharge = NFA taken, but if D re-offends within a set time period he will be re-sentenced, D will leave the court with a criminal record. Absaloute Discharge = NFA taken, D leaves court with a criminal record. 
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Factors of Sentencing

  • There are aggravating and mitigating factors the courts will take into account when sentencing D.
  • Aggravating - increases the seriousness of the offence {make the sentence higher}
  • Mitigating - lessens the seriousness of the offence {lessen the sentence}
  • Provocation
  • Age of the D {is he a youth?}
  • Health
  • Vunrable V
  • Pleading guilty before trial 
  • Lack of remorse
  • Use of a weapon
  • Use of violence
  • Previous convictions
  • First Offence 
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