A criminal justice system exists so that those who commit a crime are punished. Each type of crime carries a certain punishment or, 'sentence' that is supposed to fit the crime accordingly. Sentencing criminals to particular punishments is intended to deter them from committing more crimes and to serve as an example to others to put them off committing crimes of a similar nature. Other reasons for sentencing criminals is to gain a sense of retribution and to satisfy a moral sense; society likes to see criminals punished and sentencing gives the victims of crime, if any, a sense that justice has been done.
Punishment is seen as the correct moral outcome of criminal activity. This is an example of classicism; where a crime is viewed as being an offence against the whole of society. When examining the issue of sentencing we need to identify the aims of punishment. When passing a sentence, the magistrates or judge will have to decide what it so be achieved by the punishment given, if the offender is considered dangerous or has committed an offence against another person, especially a violent crime, then the safety of the public has to be taken into consideration as well as the safety of the offender and the need to give out a punishment to the offender.
Punishment is seen as taking revenge on the criminal, based on the idea that the wrongdoer deserves to be punished and that society will benefit from this. The purpose of retribution is to ensure that the punishment given is proportionate to the offence committed.
Because there are so many different types of crime; violent, theft and sexual being just a few of the broader types, there must be several types of sentence to match; custodial and non custodial being the two...