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This module provides students with a critical insight into the sentencing process in Ireland and other common law jurisdictions as it relates to adult offenders. It explores the theories and general principles of sentencing and judicial sentencing practices, including the treatment of diverse types of offender. This knowledge base will be built upon in the latter half of the module with an evaluation of non-custodial approaches to sentencing, and an examination of selected restorative, therapeutic and re-integrative policies and practices.
• Theories of sentencing: underlying rationales of punishment; deterrence, retribution, incapacitation; rehabilitation.
• Sentencing law and practice: constitutional imperatives; general principles, statutory powers; consistency in sentencing and the role of guidelines; discretionary sentencing and judicial activism; approaches from other common law jurisdictions; the role of the victim.
• Sentencing and the offender: mentally disordered offender; sexual offender; repeat offender.
• Non-custodial alternatives: suspended sentence; probation orders; community service orders; electronic monitoring; Criminal Justice Act 2006.
• Key movements in criminal justice: restorative justice principles and practice; therapeutic jurisprudence; problem-solving courts; drugs courts; mental health courts.