SUSPENDED SENTENCES – A JUDICIAL PERSPECTIVE
AbstractThe suspended sentence is a widely used but often misunderstood sentencing disposition. This article presents the findings of in-depth interviews with Tasmanian judges and magistrates on their use of suspended sentences. These interviews provide an invaluable source of information on judicial views on a range of issues pertaining to the use of such sentences. The findings reveal inconsistent views on the main objective of suspended sentences and the difficulty experienced in applying the two-stage process for suspending the sentence. Issues with explaining and communicating the sentence and the role of public opinion and the media are explored. The appropriate response to breaches of sentences is discussed and the policy and reform implications of the research are considered.
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