Card Set Information
What is sentencing?
The judicial determination of a legal sanction upon a person convicted of an offence
In Canada, relies on judicial discretion
Impacts future similar cases
What is the philosophy of sentencing in the middle ages?
the harsher, the better
public sentences involving physical punishments, tortute, etc
What was the philosophy in the late 18th for sentencing?
deterrence through rational punishment
influenced by the Enlightenment
rational thinking --> move away from religion
offenders are rational --> costs should outweigh benefits
focus less on severity
What is the sentencing philosophy in the 20th century?
rehabilation makes an entrance
blief that causes of crime are beyond offenders' control, society is the cause
offenders are amenable to treatment
What are the 5 principles in modern sentencing?
1) just deserts- retributive
2) incapacitation- ultilitarian
3) deterrence- utilitarian
4) rehabilation- utilitarian
5) restoration- restorative
What is just deserts mean?
philosophy which holds that criminal offenders deserve the punishment they receive, and punishment should be appropriate to the type and severity of crime committed
offenders are responsible for their crimes
proportionality is the most important principle
what is incapacitation?
the use of imprisonment or othe rmeans to reduce the likelihood that an offender will be capable of committing future offences
seperate offenders from community so they cant commit crimes
requires restraint, not punishement
looks at the future- # of crimes avoided cause offender is in jail
What is the theory and practice of incapacitation?
in theory, key is to identify recividist and isolate them as long as necessary for societal protection
in practice, difficult to achieve with efficiency
What is deterrence?
seeks to prevent others from committing similar crimes to the one for which an offender is being sentenced
uses punishment to convince people that crim is not worthwhile
overall goal is crime prevention
What is the gernal and spefici part of deterrence?
: reduce the likehood of recidivism by convicted offender
: try to influence people which have not yet committed crimes- but who may be tempted
What is Rehabilitation?
The attempt to reform offenders
Gained prominence in 1930s
Goal is to reduce the amount of future crimes through treatment, instead of fear
The idea was almost killed in 1970s --> nothing works
What is restoration?
goal of sentencing which seeks to address the harms made to victims by making them whole again
what are the two sources of restoration?
a) sanctions have little impact on recidivism
b) CJS focus too much on offenders, not enough on victims
How is restoration played in the CJS?
under the form of victim impact statements, restitution payments
What are the traditional options for sentencing?
What is imprisonment?
used in only the most serious cases (35%)
vary by the type of offence
Theft over $5000 43%
Drug trafficking 43%
What sentences carry a mandatory min?
a few offences carry a mandatory min. stences, most involve firearm
manslaughter w fireamr
: 4 years
: no min
Any firearm related
: 1-3 years
What is probation?
court- ordered sentence served while under supervision in the community
"freedom with conditions"
What is the goal of probation?
Allow for some control over offenders while using community programs to help rehabilitation
most used sentence (46%) because versatile, inexpensive compared to prison and less severe
What are the 3 compulsory conditions to any probation sentence?
1) keep the peace and good behaviour
2) appear before the court when required to do so
3) notify probation officer or court in advance of any change of address, occupation
What are fines?
often used (32%)
mostly for minor offences
: generate money instead of costs
amount set by judge
CC sets max for summary convictions $2000
only 5% exceed 500
judge sets time to pay fine
How do judges decide what is the appropriate time to spend in prison for unpaid fines?
unpaid fine + $400 cost
What is the inequities of the fine system?
the wealthy and the poor could receive the same fine for the same offence
What are the solutions for the inequities of the fine system?
only impose fines when offenders has ability to pay
fine option program
What is absolute discharge?
a sentence where in the accused is found guilty but does not gain a criminal record and is given no sentence
What is conditional discharge?
sentence where the accused is found guilty but does not gain a criminal record and is given no setence expect the offender is placed on probation for a specific time period
What is conditional sentencing?
a sentencing option which allow offenders to serve their incarceration period in the community under supervision of a probation officer rather than prison
only sentences less than 2 years
contains compulsory conditions, normally more onerious than simple probation
What are the goals of conditional sentencing?
reduce the use of incarceration
used in 5-8% of sentences but trends is upwards, same for severity
used in 18% of cases involving sexual assaults, and 35% drug trafficking