The aims of sentencing
The main aims of sentencing are set out in the Criminal Justice Act 2003.
Retribution- Retribution for doing wrong, society’s revenge for the offence. The sentencing council set tariff sentences to reflect the aim.
Denunciation- Where society can express their outrage at the offence committed. Public condemnation of the offender.
Deterrence (Individual)-This is aimed at a particular offender to put him/her off of offending again. The method to put the defendant off is either a severe sentence (e.g custodial sentence/ fine) or by threatening imprisonment (e.g a suspended sentence or conditional charge).
Deterrence (General)- This is aimed at putting society off of committing crimes by exemplary sentences or minimum sentences. These are not concerned with fairness and may be much harsher than usual sentences, and can lead to unfairness.
Rehabilitation- This aims to reform the offender to stop them re-offending. It is focused on the longer term, looking at the potential of the offender to change their ways. Community orders are more likely to rehabilitate than custodial sentences as they can give the offender a sense of accomplishment.
Reparation-Considers the victim when sentencing the offender. Compensation orders are used to make the offender make amends to the victim.
Public protection- Preventing the offender from re-offending using curfews and custodial sentences.
Powers of the Courts
Custodial sentences available for adults
Under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 and the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, custodial sentences available for adults include…
- Mandatory life sentences are available to adults. This is the only available sentence for the crime of murder if the offender is over 18 years old. The minimum term to be served before release on licence ranges from 15 years to the rest of the offenders life. Tariffs for mandatory life sentences are set out in the Criminal Justice Act 2003.
-Discretionary life sentences are also available for adults who commit other serious crimes but the judge can impose a lesser sentence if it is more appropriate
-Fixed term sentences are available for those who are 21 years old and over. Only half of the sentence is served if the good behaviour is shown.
-Home detention curfew is a sentence which is early release from prison on a curfew
-Indeterminate sentences are available for adults for dangerous offences to protect the public from harm.
-Extended sentences are custodial sentences available for adults where they serve the full sentence of their crime and then it is followed by an extension on license.
-Minimum sentences are available sentences for adults who have been imprisoned for dealing Class A drugs.
-Suspended sentences are sentences of 28-51 weeks suspension after serving a prison sentence of up to two years. Sentence of suspension…