This chapter considers the community sentences available for children and young people convicted of a criminal offence in either the Youth Court or the Crown Court. Custodial sentences for more serious and/or more persistent offenders are discussed in Chapter 5. The purpose of sentencing is set out in the CJIA 2008: courts must have regard to the principal aim of the youth justice system, which is to prevent offending and reoffending (s. 9(2)(a)) (see Introduction). Courts must also have regard to the welfare of the offenders in accordance with s. 44 CYPA 1933 and, in addition, should take account of the following purposes of sentencing (s. 9(3)): the punishment of offenders;the reform and rehabilitation of offenders;the protection of the public; andthe making of reparation by offenders to persons affected by their offences. The Supreme Court has commented, in relation to children and young people, that a key aim ‘of any sentence imposed should be to promote the process of maturation, the development of a sense of responsibility, and the growth of a healthy adult personality and identity’ (R v Secretary of State, ex parte Maria Smith , Baroness Hale at para. 25). This is reiterated in para. 1.a3 of the guidelines for sentencing young people, issued by the Sentencing Guidelines Council (SGC) (now the Sentencing Council) in 2009, which states that ‘the intention [of sentencing] is to establish responsibility and, at the same time, to promote re-integration rather than to impose retribution’.
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