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There are a number of different bodies, in addition to the Sentencing Council, who have a role to play in sentencing. Click above for a simplified diagram of the criminal justice system These include: Judiciary Parliament The Parole Board Probation Service Youth Offending Teams Crown Prosecution Service Ministry of Justice Judiciary Judges and magistrates have a key role in sentencing, being the ones who actually pass sentences, deciding on the…

“The factors taken into account in each case will vary depending upon the facts.” In addition to having regard to the five purposes of sentencing, a judge or magistrate will use sentencing guidelines, which set out the process they should follow and the factors they should consider, to work out the appropriate sentence. For each crime there is a range of sentences available and the judge or magistrates have to decide which type of sentence is…

Imprisonment is the most severe sentence available to the courts. Custodial sentences are reserved for the most serious offences and are imposed when the offence committed is “so serious that neither a fine alone nor a community sentence can be justified for the offence” (section 152(2) of the Criminal Justice Act 2003). A custodial sentence may also be imposed where the court believes it is necessary to protect the public. The length of the…

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The Sentencing Council has completed an assessment of the impact of the Theft Offences Definitive Guideline. The guideline, which came into force in February 2016, includes six guidelines for sentencing theft offences: general theft theft from a shop or stall handling stolen goods going equipped for theft or burglary abstracting electricity making off without payment. The assessment found that there have been changes in sentencing practice…