This chapter begins with a brief overview of the history of community sentences as alternatives to custody. It then explores the current situation with regard to community sentences and alternatives to custody, drawing on the most up-to-date research available. The chapter also discusses the political environment in which the probation service finds itself. The concluding section summarizes the key issues around the topic.
This chapter explains the aims of sentencing and types of sentence that may be imposed upon a convicted offender. The main sentencing options that are available to a court when an adult is convicted of a criminal offence include: absolute and conditional discharges, fines, community orders, and imprisonment. Custodial sentences include extended determinate sentences, the new sentence for offenders of particular concern, and life sentences. A custodial sentence has punishment as its primary purpose, whereas a community order focuses more on reform and rehabilitation. The chapter also outlines the key types of sentence that can be imposed upon youths and discusses restorative justice initiatives. It explores the various factors to which the judge or magistrates must have regard when passing sentence, including maximum/minimum sentences, the nature and seriousness of the offence, sentencing guidelines, and pre-sentence reports.
This chapter explains the aims of sentencing and discusses the types of sentence that may be imposed upon a convicted offender. The main sentencing options available to a court when an adult is convicted of a criminal offence include: absolute and conditional discharges, fines, community orders, and imprisonment. Custodial sentences include extended determinate sentences, the new sentence for offenders of particular concern, and life sentences. A custodial sentence has punishment as its primary purpose, whereas a community order focuses on reform and rehabilitation. The chapter outlines the key types of sentence that can be imposed upon youth offenders and discusses restorative justice initiatives. It explores the factors to which the judge or magistrates must have regard when passing sentence, including maximum/minimum sentences, the nature and seriousness of the offence, sentencing guidelines and pre-sentence reports.
Martin Hannibal and Lisa Mountford
This chapter explains specific types of sentence and provide guidance on how a defence solicitor might prepare and deliver a plea in mitigation. It discusses when discretionary custodial sentence can be imposed; custody between the ages 18 and 21; length of custodial sentence; suspended sentence of imprisonment; concluding remarks on discretionary custodial sentences; fixed length sentences; sentencing dangerous offenders; community sentences; community sentences under the Criminal Justice Act (CJA) 2003; guilty plea credit and community orders; enforcement of community orders under the CJA 2003 in the event of breach; deferring sentence; fines; compensation orders; conditional discharge; absolute discharge; bind over; ancillary orders; structuring a plea in mitigation; advocacy and the plea in mitigation; and professional conduct.
Anne Worrall and Rob Canton
This chapter explains the history, philosophies, current practices, and policy debates surrounding those sanctions that are often referred to as ‘alternatives to prison’. The discussions cover the types of community sentences and sentencing trends; the National Probation Service and National Offender Management Service; ways of understanding the politics of punishment in the community; diversity and punishment in the community; community sentences and populist punitiveness; community sentences and the ‘What Works?’ agenda; and community sentences and probation in other countries.
This chapter reviews the main options available to the sentencing court which do not entail immediate custody. It therefore deals with fines, reviewing the difficulties posed by differential ability to pay, and community orders as well as suspended prison sentences. It discusses the tensions between imposing proportionate punishment—a retributivist aim—and delivering rehabilitation programmes—a utilitarian approach. It therefore discusses the theory and practice of rehabilitation that underpins these initiatives. However, because punishment and rehabilitation also take place in the community for those released from prison, this chapter examines supervision and the new ‘beyond the gate’ programmes for prisoners released on licence. The chapter therefore, covers the policy trends in relation to fines, the ‘rehabilitation revolution’, the privatisation of the delivery of community penalties, and the new and old utilitarian theories relating to rehabilitation.
Nicola Padfield and Cyrus Tata
This chapter expounds on the understanding of penal decision-making under the critical perspective that understands the interplay between courts, sentencing, and parole. It examines key issues in the daily realities of the work of sentencing and parole and their implications for research and policy. Conventional wisdom and popular assumptions about criminal justice have been led by a preoccupation with the most serious, glamorous cases. The chapter highlights the significance of the presumption of innocence, citing that cases are judged as unique and criminal justice agencies work autonomously in penal decision-making. It considers several strategies to reduce the use of imprisonment by promoting community alternatives
Susan Easton and Christine Piper
Sentencing and Punishment provides an accessible account of recent developments in sentencing and punishment from the standpoint of penal theories, policy aims, punishment practice, and human rights. It reviews changing ideas on what counts as ‘just’ punishment, and covers the key themes and topics studied on sentencing and punishment courses, New features of this, its fourth edition, include a focus on changes and continuities in penal and sentencing policy since 2010 as well as greater attention to sentencing guidelines and to the impact of the relevant sentencing provisions in force since the last edition, notably the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 and the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015. Material on dangerous offenders is also updated. In two new chapters—‘Instead of punishment?’ and ‘Impact on victims and offenders’—this edition brings together different, yet linked, areas of sentencing law and practice to provide new perspectives, and in restructured chapters on community punishment and young offenders, it focuses on such recent developments as the privatisation of the delivery of community penalties, the ‘rehabilitation revolution’, and the decreased use of custody for young offenders. This edition also gives more attention to the continuing influence of human rights law and jurisprudence and incorporates more material on the impact of the Equality Act 2010 on the treatment of different groups within the prison population. It also now includes case studies and discussion questions at the end of each chapter.