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The Basic Principles Of Sentencing

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The Basic Principles Of Sentencing This essay will outline the basic principles of sentencing; in relation to this it will also discuss the background behind sentencing, non-custodial and custodial sentences, case studies and statistics of crime and sentences. Sentencing is described as the punishment ordered by a court for a defendant convicted of a crime. The basic principles behind sentencing a person convicted of a crime are rehabilitation, deterrence, protection, retribution and reparation. Rehabilitation is a principle of sentencing that assumes that offenders can be "reformed" or rehabilitated and for that reason should not be sent to prison, or that any prison term should be shortened. Sentencing is a use of deterrence as it is hoped that potential offenders will be discouraged of committing crimes. Protection means by convicting offenders of crimes it is possible that the general public are kept safe from criminals. Retribution is a principle of sentencing that is distinguishable from revenge but provides that sentences, amongst other things, should be reasonably proportionate to the crime committed by the accused. ...read more.


Non-custodial sentences are used in cases where it is believed that the offender is not likely to commit the crime again or that they committed the crime because they needed help. It is for these people that alternatives to custody may help them as well as punish the offender. An example of a non-custodial sentence is community service. A Community service Order is an order of the court, which requires the offender to undertake unpaid work. The Community Service Order will specify how many hours the offender is required to work and the time period over which they must complete these hours. Sentences of between 80 and 240 hours can be awarded and are required to be completed within one year. Community Service work normally involves practical or manual work such as environmental improvements, decorating, gardening and graffiti removal. Another example of a non-custodial sentence is electronic tagging/monitoring. Electronic monitoring works by way of a transmitter and monitoring unit installed in an offender's home. ...read more.


Using a non-custodial method would barely affect the lifestyle of the offender at all. In my opinion the increase in the use of non-custodial methods of sentencing is a success, it has been proven to be a success, it helps offender's of minor crimes gain stability in their lifestyle, unlike the affects of custodial sentences and will mean a decrease in the costs of prisons due to a decrease in custodial sentencing. I feel that non-custodial sentences are a good way to deter potential offenders from committing crimes as it means they will have to work unpaid, pay fines or follow a curfew meaning that they may lose certain privileges, for example, going to football matches. Although there are many good points, there is also the possibility that victims of a crime may not like the thought that the offender is not imprisoned, because of this I feel that non-custodial sentences should be given only when it is believed that the offender will not commit the crime again or that they committed the crime because they needed help. ...read more.

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