Chapter

Sentencing young people

Kerry Baker

in Children and young people in custody

Published by Policy Press

Published in print November 2008 | ISBN: 9781847422613
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447301752 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847422613.003.0005
Sentencing young people

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The rise in the number of young people in custody in England and Wales is well documented and it is also recognised that trends in sentencing are one of the key determinants of the custodial population. In considering the sentencing of young people there are three key areas of concern, namely: the level of custodial sentencing; the length and nature of custodial sentences (in particular, the new ‘public protection sentences’ introduced by the Criminal Justice Act of 2003); and the extent of consistency or inconsistency in sentencers' decision making. Given the range of factors contributing to the rise in the custodial population, there is unlikely to be any single ‘solution’. Neither the government nor youth justice practitioners can control sentencing trends, but they can, and do, try to influence them. Trying to reduce imprisonment by altering sentencing decisions is not an easy strategy to pursue.

Keywords: England; Wales; sentencing; young people; custody; public protection sentences; Criminal Justice Act; youth justice; imprisonment

Chapter.  4335 words. 

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