On Sentencing Adults

Excerpts from The Criminal Code

There are several sentencing principles involved in the sentencing of adults:

  • Denunciation: The sentence must demonstrate society’s disapproval of the behavior in question.
  • General Deterrence: The sentence must send a message to others who commit similar offences.
  • Specific Deterrence: There must be a strong message sent to this individual so that it does not happen again.
  • Rehabilitation: Everyone should be given the opportunity to improve their behavior and leave criminal activity behind.

Potential Dispositions and/or Sentences:

  • Diversion out of the criminal process
  • Signing of a peace bond (a promise to the court to abide by certain stipulated conditions) with charges being withdrawn
  • Conditional and Absolute Discharges which mean a finding of guilt but no criminal record
  • Probation where you are required to abide by conditions imposed by the judge and report to a probation officer
  • Pay a fine or make restitution to the victim
  • House arrest on a conditional sentence with conditions in addition to probation (sort of like probation on steroids) and
  • Real Jail either in a provincial institution (sentences less than 2 years) or the federal penitentiary (sentences for 2 years or more).

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