Articles on Sentencing

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New legislation in WA might provide reassurance to victims of crime, but risks political interference when it comes to deciding who gets parole. from www.shutterstock.com

Serial killers’ fates are in politicians’ hands. Here’s why that’s a worry

Under new WA legislation, the state's attorney-general has the power to order serial killers and mass murders remain in jail, sometimes without judicial review.
For all offences in the higher courts, the proportion of Victorians sent to prison is actually higher than the national average. AAP/Paul Miller

Is Victoria’s sentencing regime really more lenient?

An overriding focus on increasing sentences may not necessarily be the best means of redressing the harm caused by sex offences.
Women who commit the same crime as men should in most cases receive lighter penalties. from www.shutterstock.com

How can we mitigate the crime that is female over-imprisonment?

The undeniable difference between men and women when it comes to committing crime should be reflected in a fundamentally different approach to the sentencing of women.
State leaders endorsed a plan at COAG last week that would see some terrorists jailed indefinitely. AAP/David Moir

The government still needs to demonstrate that indefinite detention for terrorists is necessary

Detaining persons convicted of terrorist offences for lengthy periods after they have served their time could risk radicalising a section of the community who see the measure as unjust.
A NSW programme in which prisoners train stray dogs as part of their rehabilitation is one of a number of innovations adopted in recent years. AAP

Crime and punishment and rehabilitation: a smarter approach

Approaches to crime that rely on punitive methods have proved to be ineffective and counter-productive. Rehabilitation programmes not only prevent crime, but are cost-effective and practical.
Unless most prisoners are given a realistic prospect of rehabilitation, how much good can prison really do? Shutterstock/sakhorn

What are prisons for? Answering that is the starting point for reform

Sentencing policy is a mixed bag of approaches: punishment, deterrence, protection and rehabilitation. The system will remain costly and ineffective until punitive instincts give way to a more rational approach.
Lana Towers was murdered by her partner. The court heard statements on the impact of her death on family and friends and, for the first time, on the broader community impacts of domestic violence. Facebook

Don’t expect ‘world first’ impact statement to transform sentencing

In May 2013, Michael Suve McDonald beat to death Lana Towers, his partner of eight years and the mother of their two children. In what is thought to be a world first, the South Australian Commissioner…

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