Law and Life

Podcast: Mandatory Sentencing and Justice Misconceptions

Mandatory sentencing is popular with politicians and those who believe the justice system is “weak on crime”.

Mandatory sentencing is popular with politicians and those who believe the justice system is “weak on crime”.

But lawyer Morry Bailes told the Law and Life podcast that mandatory sentencing, where people convicted of certain crimes receive a minimum jail sentence as prescribed by Parliament, doesn’t work.

“Once someone has gone to jail, (most) probably have to come out at some point, they’re infrequently coming out a better person,” Mr Bailes told Law and Life.

“You know, there’s a view of those even on the ‘law and order’ side that (would say) you send a crook to jail and a worse crook comes out. That’s a training ground.

“Mandatory sentencing takes away discretion, it mandates an outcome enforced by Parliament who are sitting in one place and it is so general, it doesn’t take into account and cannot take into account the individual circumstances of a particular matter when it comes before the court.”

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