Aims of sentencing
Purposes of sentence....
*punishment of offender.
*reduction of crime.
*reform & rehabilitation.
*Protect the public.
*reparation of offenders.
based on the idea, of punishment. The offender deserves punishment for his or her acts. This aim of sentencing does not seek to reduce crime or alter offenders future behaviour.
This can be individual, or general deterrence.
Individual= the offender is deterred through dear or further punishment.
General= potential offenders warned as to likely punishment.
Suitable punishments include, prison, heavy fines, long sentence as an example to others.
The aim of the penalty is to reform the offender, and rehabilitate them back into society. It is a forward looking aim. Offenders will usually be given a community order with various requirements aimed at rehabilitating them.
Protection of the public
The public need to be protected from dangerous offenders. For this reason life imprisonment or long term prison sentences are given to those who have committed really serious offences.
This is aimed at compensating the victim, of the crime usually by ordering them to pay a sum of money to the victim, or make restitution, E.g. by returning stolen goods.
This is society expressing its disapproval of criminal activity. A sentence should indicate both to the offender, and to other people that society, condemns certain behaviour.
Sentences available for adults
Custodial sentences= most serious punishment.
Mandatory life sentences
Discretionary life sentences
Suspended prison sentences
Aggravating factors in sentencing
In looking at offence, look at how serious offence is. This is now set out in criminal justice act 2003.
The act also looks on to look at certain factors which are considered as aggravating, making an offence more serious.
- Previous convictions.
- Fact that defendant was on bail.
- racial or religious hostility being involved.
- hostility to disabled or different sexual orientations.
Aggravating features for specific offences:
- offender part of group attack.
- particularly vulnerable victim.
- a victim serving the public.
- the fact that the assault was premeditated.
Mitigating factors available in sentencing
A mitigating factor is one which allows the court to give a lighter sentence then normal.
Other factors taken into account in mitigation include:
- mental illness of defendant.
-physical illness of defendant.
- defendant has no previous convictions.
- evidence, of genuine remorse.