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NCJ Number: 228432 Find in a Library
Title: Suspended Sentences in Tasmania: Key Research Findings
Author(s): Lorana Bartels
Date Published: July 2009
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: Australian Institute of Criminology
Canberra ACT, 2601, Australia
Sale Source: Australian Institute of Criminology
GPO Box 2944
Canberra ACT, 2601,
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: This paper provides an overview of the use of suspended sentences in the Supreme Court of Tasmania, and an analysis of reconviction and breach rates of those whose sentences are suspended.
Abstract: This paper provides a quantitative overview of the use of suspended sentences in Tasmania, based upon key findings of recent research. Findings indicate that offenders serving suspended sentences had the lowest reconviction rates of the four sentencing options studied, followed by partly suspended sentences. This finding is true irrespective of prior criminal history. Young offenders had particularly low reconviction rates. An additional finding was that only 5 to 6 percent of offenders in breach of a suspended sentence were returned to court for breach action. This failure to deal appropriately with breached sentences reduces the effectiveness of individual sentences and may undermine confidence in the criminal justice system as a whole. The argument for suspended sentences is that they are an effective form of deterrence as well as a tool for reducing the size of the prison population. Those opposing use of this sentencing tool speak to the failure to impose real punishment, and the unfair application of suspended sentences, particularly in favoring middle-class offenders. Tables and references
Main Term(s): Sentence review
Index Term(s): Criminal justice research; Criminal justice system effectiveness; Foreign criminal justice research; Sentence effectiveness; Suspended sentences
Note: Trends and Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice No. 377, July 2009
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