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Old 11-11-2009, 11:15 AM   #1
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Suspended sentences = positive result

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Criminals who have previously served time in prison are about 25 per cent less likely to commit future offences if they are given a suspended sentence rather than a jail term, new research has found.

Despite the public perception that suspended sentences are a ''let-off'' or a ''a slap on the wrist'', non-custodial penalties are just as effective a deterrent as a stint in prison, especially for offenders with a long criminal history.

The number of suspended sentences imposed by NSW local courts rose by 300 per cent between 2000 and 2007, to make up 4.6 per cent of all penalties from magistrates.

Figures released by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research yesterday show that after one year, an offender who spent time in jail and then received another custodial sentence had a 52 per cent chance of being reconvicted. The same offender had a 42 per cent chance if given a suspended sentence.

The difference at two years was 18 per cent.

The bureau's director, Don Weatherburn, said the findings added to a growing body of evidence that spending time behind bars does not reduce the likelihood of that person committing more crime.

''This does not mean we should abandon prison as a sanction for offending,'' Dr Weatherburn said.

''Prison might still be justified on the grounds of general deterrence, punishment or incapacitation … however it would be wrong to impose a prison sentence on an offender in the belief that it will deter them from further offending.''

In cases where the offender had no previous jail time, the bureau found no significant difference in the likelihood of reconviction between those who received a full-time sentence and those whose sentence was suspended.

The study compared 1661 matched pairs of offenders with a prior prison sentence and 2650 matched pairs without a prior jail history, adjusted for a large range of factors such as gender, age, offence type, plea and juvenile record.

A spokesman for the Victims of Crime Assistance League, Howard Brown, said suspended sentences can prevent recidivism because offenders are not in jail acquiring new criminal skills in the so-called ''universities of crime''.

But he said suspended sentences can cause angst for some victims because the offender is still at large.

A spokesman for the Attorney-General, John Hatzistergos, said custodial sentences are needed to ''protect the community and punish the offender to deter others''.
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Kind of the ultimate carrot/stick type of deal. Carrot = freedom. Stick = but if you are arrested again, you will go back.
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Old 11-11-2009, 11:21 AM   #2
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Thankfully this one is going back. For 3 yrs anyway.

Teen jailed after second child rape | UK news | guardian.co.uk
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Old 11-11-2009, 11:26 AM   #3
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if we gave everybody the death penalty, there would be no more repeat offenders
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Old 11-11-2009, 01:12 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by bigjohn2441 View Post
if we gave everybody the death penalty, there would be no more repeat offenders

very true!

we better get up early
that would be about 7 billion to execute,
I volunteer to go last.
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Old 11-11-2009, 01:21 PM   #5
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very true!

we better get up early
that would be about 7 billion to execute,
I volunteer to go last.


No need to go last, you live in California! You'll die of old age before you get anywhere near the death chamber
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Old 11-11-2009, 01:24 PM   #6
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if we gave everybody the death penalty, there would be no more repeat offenders
This logic is actually infallible. And people say FYM is good for nothing!
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Old 11-11-2009, 02:53 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by bigjohn2441 View Post
if we gave everybody the death penalty, there would be no more repeat offenders
Funnily enough, there's a Star Trek episode (TNG) that has a planet that implements this rule. Hilarity ensues.
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