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  • Writer's pictureSam Wilks

The Effectiveness of Mandatory Sentencing in Reducing Crime

One of the most controversial topics in criminal justice is the use of mandatory sentencing laws. Mandatory sentencing laws require that certain crimes carry a minimum sentence of imprisonment without any possibility of parole or early release. Proponents of mandatory sentencing laws argue that they are necessary to deter crime and protect society, while opponents argue that they are unjust and ineffective.

I believe mandatory sentencing laws are an effective tool in reducing crime, but only if they are used appropriately. Mandatory sentencing laws should be reserved for serious, violent offences such as murder, rape, and aggravated assault. People who commit these crimes typically pose a serious threat to public safety and call for harsh punishment to deter future criminal behaviour. However, mandatory sentencing laws should not be used for non-violent offences, such as drug possession or property crimes, as they are unlikely to deter future criminal behaviour and result in over-criminalisation.

Drugs are used as a tool to change emotional states, usually as a result of trauma. Punishing someone for trauma relief when their actions do not harm others is cruel and unjust.

Mandatory sentencing laws are effective in reducing crime because they increase the certainty and severity of punishment. When individuals know they will face a mandatory sentence if they commit a serious crime, they are less likely to engage in criminal behaviour. Additionally, mandatory sentencing laws can act as a deterrent to would-be offenders who are considering committing a crime. If they know that the punishment will be severe, they are less likely to engage in criminal behaviour.

However, mandatory sentencing laws are not a panacea for reducing crime. Other factors, such as poverty, unemployment, and culture, also contribute to criminal behaviour. Addressing these underlying factors is critical to reducing crime in the long term. Mandatory sentencing laws can have unintended consequences, such as increasing prison populations and straining resources; however, this is evidently due to their use on property or drug-related crimes. A clear example of this in the NT is the complete failure of the BDR system and the increases in property and alcohol-related crime in conjunction to government-imposed prohibition.

The effectiveness of mandatory sentencing laws depends on their implementation. Mandatory sentencing laws should be enforced consistently and fairly to maintain public trust in the criminal justice system. Additionally, judges given discretion in sentencing to account for mitigating circumstances, such as mental illness or a history of abuse, require regulation. By giving judges some flexibility in sentencing, they can ensure that the punishment fits the crime and avoid overly harsh sentences; however, the audit of these actions is required due to the common practice of judicial activism present in Australia, which has resulted in extremely low credibility scores for judges and members of the judiciary.

Mandatory sentencing laws can be an effective tool in reducing crime, but only if they are used appropriately. They should be reserved for serious, violent offenses and should be enforced consistently and fairly. To maximize the effectiveness of mandatory sentencing laws, they should be used in conjunction with other crime prevention strategies.

From the author.

The opinions and statements are those of Sam Wilks and do not necessarily represent whom Sam Consults or contracts to. Sam Wilks is a skilled and experienced Security Consultant with almost 3 decades of expertise in the fields of Real estate, Security, and the hospitality/gaming industry. His knowledge and practical experience have made him a valuable asset to many organizations looking to enhance their security measures and provide a safe and secure environment for their clients and staff.

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