The purposes of adult sentencing were set out in statute for the first time in s142 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003, which provides that:
Any court dealing with an offender in respect of his offence must have regard to the following purposes of sentencing—
(a) the punishment of offenders, (b) the reduction of crime (including its reduction by deterrence), (c) the reform and rehabilitation of offenders, (d) the protection of the public, and (e) the making of reparation by offenders to persons affected by their offences.
There are six main aims/theories or philosophies of sentencing
A convicted burglar walking past a luxury home in the quiet residential street that has keys left in the front door.
A Real IRA terrorist who is plotting to plant a car bomb in a major city.
The father of two children who is invited to take part in a plan to smuggle a large consignment of heroine into the country.
An extremely intoxicated man.
A woman who has suffered years of Physical abuse at the hands of her husband is standing in the kitchen. She knows that her husband is about to attack and sees a row of knives in a kitchen rack within range.
This idea was at the heart of the previous Conservative Government's White Paper " Crime, Justice and Protecting the Public " (1990). The Government's aim, repeated several times, was to ensure that convicted criminals receive their 'just deserts'. This led to the Criminal Justice Act introducing new sentencing rules to be used by the court. Now what we have is a tariff system, where the Sentencing Guidelines Council produces guidelines for certain offences..
This is also used for the protection of the public. The principle behind this sentence is that the punishment must serve a useful purpose. This means that the punishment must serve a purpose for society as a whole, or that it will help the offender in some way.
Incapacitation means that in some way the offender is made incapable of re-offending. Examples are driving bans and curfews.
Discussion: What are examples of incapacitating sentences? Do you think they are fair and do they work?
This is aimed at compensating the victim of the crime, usually by ordering the offender to pay a sum of money to the victim or to make restitution, for example returning stolen property.
Some projects have also included bring together the offender and the victim to make a direct reparation, so that they can make contact.
The idea of restitution includes making reparation to society as a whole, usually in the form of community punishment orders where offenders are required to work a certain amount of hours on a community project whilst being supervised.
Denunciation is a way of showing society’s disapproval of criminal activity. The sentence has a message to both the defendant and the public, i.e. society condemns that type of behaviour and justice is being done.
So far so good? Of course! Huh???? I am confused