In May 2012, the NSW Law Reform Commission released a series of Question Papers as part of its review of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 (NSW). The Question Papers address some of the fundamental issues relating to the sentencing of offenders, including the purposes of sentencing, common law sentencing principles, the factors that a court must take into account on sentence and other discounting factors. PIAC’s submission calls on the NSW Law Reform Commission to recommend the continued operation of ‘imprisonment as a last resort’ and ‘rehabilitation’ as valid sentencing purposes under the Act. The submission also recommends the removal of ‘deterrence’ as a relevant sentencing consideration in relation to crimes committed by people from disadvantaged backgrounds such as people experiencing homelessness.
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