You are on page 1of 14



A judicial officer will have to consider the
purpose behind the sentence that is being
considered why is this particular sentence
required in the circumstance?

The Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999
(NSW) outlines the purposes of sentencing:

To ensure that the offender is adequately punished
To prevent crime by deterring the offender and
To protect the community
To promote the rehabilitation of the offender
To make the offender accountable
To denounce the conduct of the offender
To recognise the harm done to the victim

In relation to sentencing, deterrence relates
to passing a higher sentence in the hope that
fear of punishment might help prevent future

Two types:

Specific punishment against an individual
offender aiming to deter them from committing
crime in the future by showing that crime does not

General punishment attempting to make an
example of an offender in order to send a message
to the rest of the community that the law is
serious about punishing people for this offence.

There is very little evidence that it is effective
in individual criminal sentencing (studies are
either inconclusive or suggest it is ineffective)

Punishing one person more severely than
others may be an injustice if its only purpose
is ineffective.

Deterrence was not included as a purpose in
the federal Crimes Act 1914 (Cth) but
remains in NSW

Retribution refers to punishment considered
to be morally right or deserved, based on the
nature of the crime.

Similar to revenge but differs because it is
society seeking retribution on behalf of
victims in an impartial manner through the
Retribution is related to a number of points
under the s 3A including:

Ensuring the offender is adequately punished for
the offence, and according to the severity of the
Making the offender accountable for his or her
actions and denouncing their conduct
Recognising the harm to the victim and the

A judge will take into account the effect the
crime had on the victim and their family and
make an assessment about whether the
punishment fits the crime.

R v AEM (Snr); R v KEM; R v MM [2002]
NSWCCA 58 refer to hand out

Aims to discourage future offences by the
offender by attempting to alter the views of
the offender and eliminating the factors that
contributed to the conduct

Main aim is to prevent recidivism

May include:
Drug counselling
Drug rehabilitation programs
Alcohol programs
Anger management courses

Not often considered for very serious

There is some evidence that rehabilitative
programs have some level of success with
offenders, especially for less serious offences
and offences involving drug or alcohol abuse.

Relates to protecting the community from the

Different penalties can be applied to achieve
Home detention
Community work
License cancellation

There is an uncertainty about which offenders
are likely to reoffend and which are not.

There will be certain offenders for who
incapacitation is more clearly justified in the
interests of protecting the community, e.g.
serial killers, serial drink-drivers