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Sentencing Of The Criminal Justice System

Sentencing is the process by which people who have been found guilty of offending against the criminal law have sanctions imposed upon them in accordance with that particular law. The sentence of the court is the most visible aspect of the criminal justice system’s response to a guilty offender. In Tasmania, the Sentencing Act 1997 was enacted to amend and consolidate the law relating to the sentencing of offenders. The crime rate in Tasmania is lower than it was 10 years ago but higher than it was 20 years ago. In the Australian context, Tasmania is below the national average of recorded crimes for the crimes of robbery, burglary and motor vehicle theft.
The aims of sentencing include punishment, deterrence, rehabilitation, denunciation and protection. Punishment is used to punish the offender for their wrong conduct to an extent and in a way that is just in all circumstances and is intended to show public abhorrence from the offence. An example of a sentencing option that may be used to punish an offender includes imprisonment. A recent sentence imposed in the Tasmanian Supreme Court aimed at punishing an offender is the case of Michael Robert Keeling v State of Tasmania in which the judge needed to balance the need to punish the offender and the need to deter him and others from such conduct while keeping the best interests of the community in mind. Deterrent sentences are aimed at deterring not only the offender from further offences but also potential offenders. Specific deterrence is concerned with punishing an offender in the expectation they will not offend again whereas general deterrence is related to the possibility that people in general will be deterred from committing crime by the threat of punishment. An example of ...

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...ystem and are seen as a credible sentencing option because of the restorative and rehabilitative effect it has on offenders by allowing them the opportunity to give something back to the community and providing them with education and work experience. There is a lack of evidence to suggest that rehabilitation is neither an effective or non-effective sanction. The use of probation as a stand-alone sanction has decreased over the years with probation now being combined with more severe sentences. When combined with rehabilitative programs probation reduced crime outcomes by 16.7%. The common perception of the general public is that increasing the severity of sentencing will reduce crime, however empirical evidence suggest that this is not the appropriate response. Public dissatisfaction with sentencing in Tasmania is often due to a lack of knowledge and understanding.
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