To What Extent Do Penalties Imposed During the Sentencing Process Achieve Justice for Victims, Offenders and Society?

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The Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 (NSW) outlines a range of penalties that can be imposed when a person is found guilty of a crime. Three such penalties include imprisonment, Intensive Correction Orders (ICO’s) and Criminal Infringement Notices (CIN’s). Each of these penalties is issued in different situations based on the severity of the crime along with the balance of justice between the victim, society and the offender. These penalties aim to achieve justice for all involved however the extent to which such justice is achieved varies. One penalty that can be applied during the sentencing process is imprisonment/gaol. Gaol is one of the key penalties imposed during the sentencing process. Gaol is the detention of an offender for a specified period of time. There are a number of levels in the gaol system including open prison farms, minimum security, medium security, maximum security and super max. Gaol plays a significant role in achieving justice for society and victims as it incapacitates the offender so they cannot reoffend, provides a serious punishment for serious offences and keeps dangerous criminals off the streets. However as seen in the study by the Bureau of Crime Statistics Research, outlined in the media article “Prison is an Expensive Way of Encouraging Crime Study Finds” (SMH 22.09.10) gaol is a very expensive form of crime control and may turn prisoners into worse offenders while charging society approximately $260 per day, per prisoner. Gaol also leaves the offender unemployed, with no money to survive when released and it may lead to difficulties finding a job with a criminal record. Therefore it can be seen that gaol plays a varying level of extent in achieving justice for the victim and society and for most offenders it plays a low extent in achieving justice. Another penalty applied during the sentencing process is an Intensive
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