• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10
  11. 11
  12. 12
  13. 13

Notes on Sentencing in British courts

Extracts from this document...


Sentencing Magistrates = max two terms of six months. �5000 fine Crown = No limits. * Murder is mandatory life. * All crimes have maximum sentence. * Theft max 7 yrs. * No minimum sentences. * The Crime (sentences) Act 1997 - min sentences for persistent offenders. * C(S)A 1997 imposed mandatory life or second violent / serious crime. 1. Aims of Sentencing * Passing sentence J looks at sentence available + what they are trying to achieve in giving a particular sentence. The 6 aims and objectives are: 1. Retribution: punishment because they deserve it. Revenge. An eye for an eye. Retribution today based on idea each crime has a set tariff. A band which crimes fit into. A sentence is imposed within correct band. Bad because doesn't take into account mitigating factors. 2. Denunciation: this is a way of showing a particular crime or crime in general is considered heinous by society. E.g. drink driving. 3. Incapacitation: punishment serves a useful purpose. Prevents offender, re offending. E.g. death, loss of limbs, long prison sentences, tagging, curfew. Used to protect the public. 4. Deterrence: individual or general. Individual E.g. prison. May deter future actions. Though only if criminal thinks about consequences before committing. Usually drunk etc so do not. General deterrence hopes to deter others from following. Perhaps least fair way and least effective as few think about others situation. Also example sentence is a little unfair. E.g. mobile phone crime. Punishment does not fit crime. 5. Rehabilitation: forward looking. Aim to reform offender. Hope offender's behaviour will be altered by sentence imposed. E.g. drug testing and treatment orders, probation. Pre sentence report taken into consideration, school reports etc. important with young offenders. Sentences are individual ones, not at all like tariffs. Criticised as being inconsistent and discriminating against those from poor backgrounds. The Power of criminal Courts (sentencing) Act 2000 states, considering seriousness of offence court may also take into consideration any previous failure to respond to previous sentence. ...read more.


Community Punishment Orders 3. Community Punishment & Rehabilitation Orders 4. Curfew Orders 5. Drug treatment & Testing Orders o Addition Criminal Justice and Courts Services Act 2000 created 2 more 1. Exclusion Orders 2. Drug Abstinence Orders Community Rehabilitation Order o Under supervision of probation officer for between 6-mths & 3 yrs o Must lead industrious & honest life & be in contact with officer. o Court can impose other conditions: 1. Residence order 2. Cant do specific activities up to 69 days 3. Attends probation ctr 4. Treatment with drug, alcohol or mental people. o Main aim is to rehabilitate. Though 60% re offend in 2 yrs. Community Punishment Order o Requires to work between 40 - 240 hrs on suitable project. o Time fixed by court. Usually 8 hrs a day. Usually weekends. Eric Cantona taught kids footie. o Criticised as too short. Other countries give longer. o Much less re offending rate than other community schemes. Community Punishment and Rehabilitation Order o Combination of two. o Up to 100hrs on community punishment and must meet terms of rehabilitation order. o Gives courts more flexibility in what they can impose. Curfew Orders o At fixed address must stay between 2 - 12 hrs a day. o Last up to 6 months. Can use tagging. o Only possible if arrangement for monitoring curfews in the area. o Tagging is a third of prison cost. And in 1st 2 yrs 80% completed successfully. Drug Treatment and Testing Orders o Sec 52 -58 POCC(S)A 2000 sets out rules for 16+ to use this scheme. o Lasts between 6 months + 3 yrs. o Possible if convict agrees. o Residential or not, court must set min number of tests each month. o Reviews must be attended by offender and written reports made. o Though only small no given order. It did help. Exclusion Orders o Bans going somewhere at specific time. ...read more.


o Only when offender does not pose risk to society. o E.g. john Aitkin, perjury. o Did reduce population for a bit. o Woolf said in 2001 courts shouldn't send people to jail unless really necessary. Must also think if sentence could possibly be less. 6.1 Prison Population o Considerable increase in prison population during 2nd half of 20th century. o This increase made a re appraisal of sentencing policy necessary. o Community based sentences managed to reduce numbers. o The numbers are still rising however. o In 2000 there was slight decrease due to early release & home curfew, but it hit all time high in 2001. o A report said there were many who could have been dealt with in non-custodial ways. 70% of women and 25% of men. 6.2 Prison Riots o Worst 1990 @ Strangeways. Independent public inquiry headed by Woolf found out causes, poor physical conditions, poor sanitation, overcrowding, food, treatment, and hrs of lock up. o Criticisms about insufficient constructive activities. High rate of re offence shows more need to be done. 6.3 Racism in Sentencing o Ethnic minorities over represented in prison population. o Could be because sizable no are in for drug smuggling or immigration. o Still high regardless. Could be racism or not. o Study by Hood in 1992 said 80% was because they did more serious crimes and went to crown. Remaining 20, some (more) pleaded not guilty and got longer sentences. Only 7% was deemed racist. o In 1990's racial awareness is part of judges training. o A test was done on 5 areas on types of sentence, no evidence found except more community sentences given to blacks. 6.4 Women & Sentencing o Much less than men. Also commit fewer offences than men. This can show that women are treated more harshly than men. o Other studies say women more favourable than men. o Hard to say as women do less serious, violent crime. Hard to compare. o It is thought those not in traditional women role, mother etc are treated less favourably. o A lot of women prisoners do have children. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Machinery of Justice section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Machinery of Justice essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Briefly outline the various sentencing options available to the courts for both over and ...

    4 star(s)

    minimum number of years' imprisonment before being eligible for release on license. The minimum term and conditions for full life term sentence is governed by the CJA 2003. * Discretionary life sentence - for other serious offenses like rape, manslaughter and robbery.

  2. Free essay

    Critically discuss whether the criminal courts of England and Wales require substantial reform. Firstly ...

    Looking back at the years gone by virtually every judge believed that his or her role was to act as a referee, fairly keeping the balance between the prosecution and the defence, and occasionally blowing the whistle if one side or the other went offside or infringed the rules.

  1. Critically evaluate the aims and consequences of sentencing and show how the laws regarding ...

    It was bought in by the Government White Paper, Crime, Justice and Protecting the Public (1990) which then went on to form the basis of the Criminal Justice Act (1991).

  2. The Death Penalty in Canada. There are many issues surrounding the rebirth of ...

    On a large scale, maybe there is not really a wonder why Canada has a much lower amount of crime than the U.S. Some use the argument that the lethal injection death penalty is a humane way of carrying out capital punishment; however other forms of killing such as hanging, shooting, electrocution and gas chambers are still legaliv.

  1. Explain the purpose of criminal punishment and comment upon how effectively these are achieved ...

    This type of sentencing takes into consideration the offenders' personal problems and background, thus each rehabilitating sentence is individually based.

  2. The Penal System - Discuss the aims of sentencing and consider other factors the ...

    Retribution is interpreted today, under the English Legal system as the concepts of correct punishment and set tariffs; as instructed in for instance R v Billam (1986), which set out sentence tariffs for rape. This ideas has been emphases again in the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 which established

  1. Explain the ranges of sentences available to the judge or magistrate.

    These ideas largely stem from religious influences on our culture. However, a deeper psychological explanation has been argued to exist, underlying the offender's need for expiration. Guilt is a state of tension which gives rise to a need for the removal of this tension.

  2. Explain the requirements of lawful arrest and detention

    Arrest without a warrant Advantage ? Arresting someone without warrant that less time which can prevent the suspect from committing more crime. Disadvantage - Citizen?s arrest Advantage ? Citizens can detain individual the break the law by holding them down so the police can come with wasting time to chase after him.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work