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Sentencing and post - sentence supervision are currently viewed as one of the most effective measures for controlling dangerous offenders and protecting the public. Consequently longer sentences are being meted out to violent offenders. The law also demands that convicted criminals be supervised by the Parole Board as long as it is necessary…
On the surface these measures seem adequate to deter future and repeat offenders, ensure the safety of the public and to allay the fears of the populace. However a deeper study of the issue reveals there is little scientific evidence to support the perceived effectiveness of these measures. In fact harsher sentences and more stringent parole requirements tend to defeat the very purposes they are supposed to serve. Thus a critical evaluation of sentencing and post - sentence supervision as measures to control dangerous offenders helps provide a comprehensive analysis of their use and the detrimental effects they are likely to have in the criminological process.
Initially the acute need for sentencing and post - sentence supervision was felt following the occurrence of certain horrific crimes like the James Bulger, Sarah Payne cases and similar killings. These terrible crimes sent shockwaves rippling through the nation and led to a huge outcry from the impassioned populace. The media played its part in fuelling public outrage and there was a clamour for severe punishments to be handed out to the perpetrators of such heinous crimes. ...
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