British Criminal Justice System Case Study

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The British criminal justice system (CJS) is a multi-agency organisation founded by government bodies in order to deter criminal activity in society and enforce punishments on those who offend (Gov.uk, 2013). Once an individual has violated a law, the individual will have a sentence imposed on them. A sentence is ‘a court order specifying the punishment to be imposed on a person who has been convicted of an offence’ (Cavadino and Dignan, 2007: p, 411). The aims of sentencing as set out in section 142 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 are as follows; the punishment of the offender, crime reduction, reform and rehabilitation, protection of the public, and reparation of the criminal to the victim (Ministry of Justice, 2009: p, 10). Therefore, …show more content…
Incapacitation is a method the justice system utilise in order to prevent an offender from continuing his or her criminal behaviour (Muncie and Wilson, 2004). This course of action normally applies to offenders whose rehabilitation has been unsuccessful or violent criminals. By taking an offender of this nature out of circulation, the criminal justice system is protecting individuals in society from becoming potential targets (Newburn, 2013). Since Britain abolished the death penalty in the 1960s, the main form of incapacitation is imprisonment and according to Conservative Home Secretary Michael Howard, ‘prison works’ (Cavadino and Dignan, 2007). Nevertheless, the British justice system has imposed other means of incapacitation, such as ‘tagging’ also referred to as electronic monitoring and curfews. The idea of electronic monitoring is traceable to the early 1960s; furthermore, by 1970, the idea had turned in to a prototype that successfully tracked a person’s location, as long as that person remained in the local vicinity (Hale et al., 2013). Electronic monitoring or tag became a popular method of incapacitation in the late 1990s. The …show more content…
The deterrence theory advocates the notion that people make rational choices and calculate the pitfalls and benefits before committing a crime, the fear of punishment prevent individuals from committing crimes (Giddens, 1993). The deterrence theory is traceable to the works of early classical thinkers such as ‘Thomas Hobbes (1588–1678), Cesare Beccaria (1738–1794), and Jeremy Bentham (1748–1832)’ (Bosworth, 2005: p, 234). The three thinkers abhorred the brutal forms of punishment, such as capital or corporal punishment; furthermore, transportation to countries such as Australia or Africa stood in high favour. Many of the punishments were barbaric and inconsistent, some proving to be disproportionate to the crime; furthermore, by making punishments a public event, society had a constant reminder not to offend. Prisons during the early eighteenth century were merely holding cells, only housing criminals that were awaiting punishment or transportation (Cavadino and Dignan, 2007). Hobbs, Beccaria and Bentham strived to change the structure of the justice system by endorsing the use of the prisons as a form of punishment, advocating that criminals should instead serve a sentence that fitted the seriousness of the crime. Additionally, all those who commit a crime are punishable by law, irrespective of

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