The Different Aims of Sentencing
There are a number of reasons why a society punishes offenders. These
include, among others, to discourage the offender from committing
further crimes (individual deterrence), to help the offender, so that
he or she won’t offend again (rehabilitation), to prevent the offender
from committing further crimes through imprisonment (incapacitation)
and to show society’s disapproval of the crime (denunciation).
Retribution is to punish on the premise that it is a payback for the
offence (Retribution carries with it the notion of “Do the crime, do
Reparation is aimed at compensating the victim of the crime ...view middle of the document...
This is in
direct contrast to the concept of set sentences seen in the aim of
retribution. One of the criticisms of this approach is, therefore,
that it leads to inconsistency in sentencing.
Incapacitation means that in some way the offender is made incapable
of re-offending. Its also thought of a protecting the public from the
criminal activities of the offender. This is achieved today in Britain
by removing dangerous offenders from society through the use of long
term prison sentences. There are other penalties that can be viewed as
incapacitating the offender, e.g. in driving offences the offender can
be banned from driving.
Denunciation is society expressing its disapproval of criminal
activity. A sentence should indicate both to the offender and to other
people that society condemns certain types of behaviour. It shows
people that justice is being done. Denunciation also reinforces
society’s views on the criminality...