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Cover English Legal System

14. Sentencing  

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.