A criminal is someone who has committed a crime of some sort, and after been given a trial has been convicted of an offence. The process of sentencing and giving a punishment incorporates various aspects which are all enforceable under the Crimes Act 1900 and Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999. A judge must determine if any statutory or judicial guidelines apply to the case, these aim to provide greater uniformity in sentencing matters and enhance the integrity of the process. The judge must also determine the purpose of the punishment, whether it be to deter others from committing the offence, enact retribution, rehabilitate the offender or incapacitate them. The purpose a punishment aims to serve will be effected by perspective. The judge must also take into account mitigating and aggravating factors, those that call for a lesser or more harsh punishment. The final consideration in the case of more serious offences, is a Victim Impact Statement (VIS) which allows a victim to enunciate on the effect that the crime has had on them. The judge can give various types of penalties such as fines, bonds, jail time etc. which have various positives and negatives in terms of effectiveness. The processes and institutions within the criminal justice system in dealing with sentencing/punishment of criminals can be considered somewhat effective. It is not particularly resource efficient or accessible, as there is a limited number of prisons throughout Australia and high costs estimated at over $239.60 in NSW1. It is relatively enforceable under the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 and the Crimes Act 1900. These processes and institutions apply the rule of law, achieve justice and meet societies needs relatively effectively as all criminals are treated equally and rights of the victim, society and offender.
A youth offender is someone who is under the age of 18 when they committed the crime. The institutions and processes for sentencing and punishment of youth differ to that of an adult due to the belief that a child’s rationality has not fully been developed before the age of 18. The major institution for trying youth is the Children’s Court, which offers many benefits compared to that of the regular courts such as; that it is a closed court, it is presided over by a magistrate with no jury and the main aim is to rehabilitate the child rather than imprison them. A major defence for children under the age of 10 is the age of criminal responsibility, or Doli Incapax 2.This is used as a basis to highlights the incapability of a child under 10 to form the mens rea for a crime. The punishments are also extremely less severe for children, for example, if the young offender pleads guilty, the maximum sentence is a control order of two years in Juvenile detention for one offence, and three for more than one offence. The Australian justice system stresses that ““wherever appropriate and desirable, there should be measures for dealing with such children … without resorting to judicial proceedings”3. The processes and institutions in dealing with young offenders can be considered somewhat resource efficient and accessible as jail time is usually restricted, upholding the idea of undeveloped rationality. It is enforceable under various pieces of legislation and protects the rights of the child under CROC. Society’s needs are being met as the child is rehabilitated and the rule of law is applied as all children are treated equally. Therefore, justice is somewhat achieved as the offender is able to be rehabilitated reducing the rate