Remorse and contrition have a role that seems natural, but the justice system makes it difficult to apply.
Remorse is a vital, but often overlooked and underused aspect of justice, for both the victim and the offender.
Victoria’s Sentencing Advisory Council has recommended increasing the judicial monitoring of family violence offenders.
The enthusiasm around swift, certain and fair approaches to sentencing offenders may not be backed by evidence.
For all offences in the higher courts, the proportion of Victorians sent to prison is actually higher than the national average.
An overriding focus on increasing sentences may not necessarily be the best means of redressing the harm caused by sex offences.
In sentencing, judges usually consider and balance four main purposes of punishment.
In historic cases the potential for a sentence to rehabilitate, incapacitate or deter the offender is largely insignificant – leaving the focus solely on retribution.
Rachel Tunstill, 26, killed Mia Kelly soon after giving birth to her in the bathroom of her flat in Burnley, Lancashire, in January 2017.
The killing of a newborn baby by its mother is the most shocking of crimes - but more needs to be done to understand the mental condition of the women that do it.
Use of data-driven risk assessments in sentencing may be heard by the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court may soon hear a case on data-driven criminal sentencing. Research suggests that algorithms are not as good as we think they are at making these decisions.
Harriet Wran was sentenced to four years in prison with a non-parole period of two.
The internet and social media have expanded the potential for more enduring forms of non-judicial punishment by way of continued denigration, humiliation and abuse.
A bill that would give courts in NSW the power to restrict offenders departs from existing regimes in many striking ways.
Imposing significant restrictions on the liberty of a person found not guilty subverts the ordinary criminal justice process.
Every state and territory in Australia permits sentences of life without parole.
As a country that claims to uphold the human rights of all – including those before the law – Australia should take notice of international practice when it comes to life imprisonment.
Women who commit the same crime as men should in most cases receive lighter penalties.
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.
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.
Is he really guilty if he had a genetic predisposition towards impulsive behaviour?
Biology is out of our control but can influence our behaviour. But should people be given shorter sentences because of their genes?
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.
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?
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.
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…
Three policemen died in the incident that led to Roberts’ sentence.
The news that Harry Roberts is to be released from prison – potentially within days – has been greeted with outrage among the police. But after 48 years in prison, it’s time the knee-jerk reactions stopped…
Cutting sentences would take little more than political will.
Ian Nicholson/PA Archive/Press Association Images
Alarm is spreading once again about the state of UK prisons, with reports that more than 15,000 assaults were committed by prisoners in 2013-14. Justice minister Chris Grayling might be quick to argue…
Tabloid media invite readers to ‘be the judge’ but when acquainted with all the facts of a case the public actually leans towards lighter sentences than the judges impose.
There are fault lines in all forms of government. Democracies are as vulnerable as any other to one of them: the charm of the easy and emotionally attractive answer to multi-faceted problems. This is not…
Chemical castration isn’t the answer to keeping children safe from sexual offenders.
l i g h t p o e t/Shutterstock
The use of “chemical castration” has been seen by many as an answer to the public fear of paedophiles, reignited by the recent trial of Brett Cowan for the murder of Daniel Morcombe. The idea is that giving…
Get used to it: 100-year sentences enjoy popular support.
David Cameron plunged into the criminal punishment debate recently by throwing his support around proposals to impose incredibly long sentences (100 years or so) for some murders as a way to circumvent…