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Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008

Section 9: Purposes etc of sentencing: offenders under 18

181.This section complements section 142 of the 2003 Act which sets out the purposes of adult sentencing.

182.Subsection (1) inserts a new section 142A into the 2003 Act setting out the purposes of sentencing for offenders under the age of 18 years. The new section requires the court when dealing with an offender to have regard to:

  • the principal aim of the youth justice system (which is to prevent offending or re-offending by persons aged under 18),

  • the welfare of the offender in accordance with section 44 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933, and

  • the following purposes of sentencing:

    • the punishment of offenders,

    • the reform and rehabilitation of offenders,

    • the protection of the public, and

    • the making of reparation by offenders to persons affected by their offences.

183.New section 142A(4) sets out the circumstances in which that section does not apply, namely:

  • where the sentence for the offence is fixed by law (eg a mandatory sentence of detention imposed for murder);

  • where offences require certain custodial sentences (i.e certain firearms offences; in certain offences of using someone to mind a weapon; and certain serious, violent or sexual offences to which sections 226 or 228 of the 2003 Act applies); and

  • where certain orders are made under the Mental Health Act 1983.

184.Subsection (2) amends section 142 of the 2003 Act to ensure that where young people reach their 18th birthday before being sentenced the courts have regard to the adult purposes of sentencing.

185.Subsection (3) amends section 44 of the Children and Young People Act 1933, which requires courts to have regard to the welfare of a child or young person brought before it, so that the court also has regard to the other matters mentioned in the new section 142A of the 2003 Act.

186.Subsection (4) amends section 42(1) of the 1998 Act, (interpretation of Part 3 of the Act) to include a definition of offending as including re-offending.

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