Legal Studies 3080

Sentencing Options

When you hear the word sentence or sentencing, what sort of punishment do you think of? If you are like most people, you think right away of imprisonment; but this is by no means the only type of sentence used in our criminal justice system. As you have seen, judges have some flexibility in matching the sentences they hand out with the situations surrounding the crimes.

These days many Canadians are questioning the sentencing practices of our judicial system. The media, it seems, are constantly informing the public about serious offences committed by convicted criminals recently released from correctional institutions. As a result, many people are arguing that the prison system needs to be reformed; others, meanwhile argue that the cost of incarceration is too high. For reasons such as these, the federal government is concerned about the high costs of keeping offenders in jail and is looking at alternatives (you have already looked at the extrajudicial sanctions programs for young offender, along with the more recent adult diversion programs).