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Punishment & Rehabilitation

By: Dave Howell - Updated: 20 Nov 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Punishment Rehabilitation Young

The punishment you can expect if you are convicted of a crime will depend on what crime you committed. The law in the UK allocates punishment that is linked to the severity of the crime. Therefore theft for instance carries a lesser punishment than murder.

The courts are guided as to the sentences and other punishments they can hand down to offenders. The law is regularly reviewed with sentences for some crimes increased as public pressure has indicated that the current punishment isn’t severe enough. The punishment should always fit the crime under UK law.

The vast majority of punishments are handed down by the magistrates’ court as these courts deal with most of the criminal cases in the UK. Magistrates’ do, however, have limited powers and can refer an offender to the Crown Court if they think that the offender should receive a higher fine or longer sentence than they can impose. Some crimes also have automatic prison sentences.

Offenders who are found guilty will usually get either an absolute discharge or a conditional discharge. An absolute discharge means that no further action will be taken against the offender. The offender still has a criminal record, but the court will take no action against them. A conditional discharge means that the offender will not get a punishment right away, but if they reoffend the court will hand down a punishment for the original crime and the new one they have committed. You can read more about sentences on the Sentencing Guidelines website.

Young Offenders

Anyone that is under the age of 21 could have a number of sentences imposed on them. In the UK there is an emphasis on rehabilitation of offenders where this is possible by sending them to institutions that can help them modify their behaviour.

Very young children between the ages of 12-16 can be sent to a secure children’s home. Local authorities run these institutions. Young Offenders Institutions (YOIs) are for offenders between the ages of 15 and 21. The prison service runs these institutions that have a focus on education. Secure Training Centres are for offenders up the age of 17. They offer vocational training and education.

If you are a repeat offender, and between the ages of 12 and 17 the court may decide that the best way to punish you and offer you rehabilitation is to use a Detention and Training Order (DTO). You will be sent to an institution for between 4 months and 2 years. Half of your sentence will be spent in the institution itself, with the second half spent in the community under the supervision of the Youth Offending Team.

If the offence that you have committed means it will be heard at the Crown Court and the offence if committed by an adult could receive a sentence of 14 years or more, you could be sentenced under Section 90/91. Section 90 is for murder, with section 91 available if the court wants to impose a longer sentence.

Community Sentences

Often the court may decide that a custodial sentence would not be in the best interest of the offender. Simply locking people behind bars is not seen as the best way to rehabilitate them. The courts have a wide-range of other powers and sentences they can use to avoid sending an offender to prison if they feel this would not be appropriate. These sentences include:

  • Fines. This is the most common form of punishment for minor offences.
  • Referral Orders. The magistrate may refer the offender to the Youth Offender Panel that will decide on an appropriate punishment.
  • Community Punishment Order. These are usually handed to offenders between the ages of 16 and 17. They involve the offender doing unpaid work in the community.
  • Supervision Orders. These can last up to 3 years. The Youth Offending Team will supervise the work that the offender will carry out under these orders.

Generally the courts will try and match the punishment to the offence that has been committed. Detailed guidelines are available to all judges that will tell them the maximum sentence they can impose. Most crimes however don’t end with a prison sentence, as community service that offers society what is called ‘restorative justice’ is more appropriate for most crimes as the offenders repair the damage that their crime has caused.

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Mikey89 - Your Question:
My boyfriend has broken a man jaw during a fight. He was arrest last year for breaking his ex girlfriend jaw whilst she was pregnant. She later retracted her statement as she lost the baby and didn’t want to carry on. What the sentence going to look like and will he get bail.

Our Response:
We cannot predict what a court may decide.
CourtroomAdvice - 21-Nov-17 @ 11:34 AM
My boyfriend has broken a man jaw during a fight. He was arrest last year for breaking his ex girlfriend jaw whilst she was pregnant. She later retracted her statement as she lost the baby and didn’t want to carry on. What the sentence going to look like and will he get bail.
Mikey89 - 20-Nov-17 @ 5:13 PM
@Andy - if you've not been charged you have you been cautioned?
mattyu - 14-Sep-17 @ 1:49 PM
Took 150 pound worth of close, got caught , admitted to it , first time offence, officer said I'm not charged of anything but took my fingerprints , 17, what will happen and I gave the clothes back.
Andy - 13-Sep-17 @ 8:29 PM
I drove my girlfriend s car without telling her and I have no insurance and provisional driving licence the police stopped me but I failed to stop theyou chased me and I've been arrested theyou told me they arrested me because of a sexual abuse for 2 girls they said I followed them with car but I didn't follow them ,one of them gave the same kind of car i was driving that night and gave the registration number with one letter wrong at the endinstead of x she said y, they sent me to court aftercustody and I told them I am guilty of thedriving charges but not guilty of the sexual abuse charges ,and I didn't follow any body as thre is no cctv in the area they said I followed them, they ve release me on bail and to get in touch with them,I am worried about my job and my life as I don't know if it will be a prison sentence as I never commited any crimes before.
Bruce - 3-Dec-16 @ 3:31 AM
My friend was convicted for shop lifting a year ago. Today she left some items in her pram and left without paying, unintentionally. If caught, what are the chances of jail?
Rtt - 26-Nov-16 @ 4:55 PM
I found an open car with my mates.I am 14 years old and I took a bag with a satnav screwdrivers and a lunchbox .this is my first offence what will be my consequence
Jack - 23-Nov-16 @ 11:41 PM
My son has been charged with intent to import and supply ecstasy, could he go to prison for this it's his first ever offence never been in any trouble whatsoever before, no drugs were found They have arrested in over a few silly text
Blondie - 11-Nov-16 @ 9:58 AM
Hebe - Your Question:
Been charged for stealing money around £200. Only 17 and first time offence. What will happen.

Our Response:
As in the response below, it is impossible to predict what a court may decide when charging an individual as much will depend on; your age, the seriousness of the crime, if you have a criminal record and/or if you plead guilty or not guilty, please see gov.uk link here .
CourtroomAdvice - 29-Sep-16 @ 12:42 PM
rj - Your Question:
Theft 600. Pounds retail what's the worst scenario

Our Response:
It is impossible to predict what a court may decide when charging an individual as much will depend on; your age, the seriousness of the crime, if you have a criminal record and/or if you plead guilty or not guilty, please see gov.uk link here .
CourtroomAdvice - 29-Sep-16 @ 12:18 PM
Been charged for stealing money around £200. Only 17 and first time offence. What will happen.
Hebe - 28-Sep-16 @ 4:09 PM
Theft 600.Pounds retail what's the worst scenario
rj - 28-Sep-16 @ 11:56 AM
Jona - Your Question:
My brother has taken 9000£ from the pub he works at he has a drug and gambling problem will he go to jail for it

Our Response:
I'm afraid we cannot predict what may happen regarding this. Your brother's legal representative will be able to advise more clearly, as it will very much be dependent upon the circumstances surrounding the theft.
CourtroomAdvice - 26-Sep-16 @ 2:52 PM
My brother has taken 9000£ from the pub he works at he has a drug and gamblingproblemwill he go to jail for it
Jona - 26-Sep-16 @ 8:25 AM
conditinal disharge for 1 year end Oct 2015 do i need to say yes iv been convicted for British nationality application when they ask me do you ever been convicted coz as i read throw the conditinal disharge is not a conviction
Joe - 23-Sep-16 @ 5:38 AM
Rallllo - Your Question:
My son is being convicted of bank fraud and he's only 14. What will happen to him likely? I really want to know

Our Response:
We cannot possibly predict what the outcome may be. You would have to ask your son's legal representative who will be able to advise on this matter.
CourtroomAdvice - 31-Aug-16 @ 12:30 PM
My son is being convicted of bank fraud and he's only 14. What will happen to him likely? I really want to know
Rallllo - 30-Aug-16 @ 4:55 PM
Ste - Your Question:
My child 14 years old committed first offence of fraud using another gamer's x box logon to buy software. What is likely to be the charge? What is likely to be the fine?

Our Response:
I'm afraid we cannot predict this, it is up to the judge to decide.
CourtroomAdvice - 25-May-16 @ 2:48 PM
My child 14 years old committed first offence of fraud using another gamer's x box logon to buy software. What is likely to be the charge? What is likely to be the fine?
Ste - 25-May-16 @ 8:25 AM
Can a judge order me to attend court if I am in rehab
Pac - 18-May-16 @ 6:18 PM
I got charged with possession of cannabis in my house my first ever offence and the first time I've been arrested in 28 years.... what do you think I will get at court (magistrate)
lou - 29-Apr-16 @ 10:03 PM
Goodwin86 - Your Question:
I have just been released on bail for smashing my girlfriends phone and braking her front door when I went round and found her dressed up and waiting for another person to turn up at 10:30 at night after she said she was going to be and was with her for 10 years and have a 3 year old son what can I expect to get when I go to court? Any information will be good. Many Thanks

Our Response:
I'm afraid we cannot predict what a court may decide. Your solicitor may have a better indication of what type of punishment you might receive.
CourtroomAdvice - 25-Apr-16 @ 2:13 PM
I have just been released on bail for smashing my girlfriends phone and braking her front door when I went round and found her dressed up and waiting for another person to turn up at 10:30 at night after she said she was going to be and was with her for 10 years and have a 3 year old son what can I expect to get when I go to court? Any information will be good. Many Thanks
Goodwin86 - 25-Apr-16 @ 2:07 AM
I jus got of a court case an I got another on on criminal damage will I go jail all my offences are linked with alcohol all eleven including this one and I'm being told I done criminal damage but there is no sign of criminal damage
John aah - 23-Apr-16 @ 12:57 AM
I stole 40£ off my freind, she called the police and I now have a meeting with them, she says she doesn't want to take this anyfurther than just giving the money back, what will the police say to me?
Lookout - 20-Apr-16 @ 11:59 PM
I have been charged to court for shoplifting an item of £163 it is my first time no criminal record. Am a single mother from an abusive relationship I left and my visa to renew is still with the him office what type of sentence can I get ? I know the home office decision will depend on the type of sentence I will get . What do you think please?
Laurab - 19-Apr-16 @ 10:33 PM
my son was arrested for booking into hotels when homeless and has since got a job and is worried he will now go to prison is this likely
jatee - 20-Mar-16 @ 4:28 PM
This is my first offence. I'm 18 being charged with theft. Yet to have my interview with the police. What are the possible outcomes?
Query - 27-Feb-16 @ 4:41 PM
Helen22 - Your Question:
I'm 17 it's my first offensive I got found guilty robbing to men and violence what could I get ?

Our Response:
I'm afraid we can't predict what the court may decide, much will depend upon the seriousness of the offence. Your solicitor or legal representative will be able to advise you on this.
CourtroomAdvice - 19-Feb-16 @ 3:02 PM
I'm 17 it's my first offensive I got found guilty robbing to men and violence what could I get ?
Helen22 - 18-Feb-16 @ 10:37 PM
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