Criminal Justice Act 2003 - Sentencing Reform - Dangerous Offenders

Dangerous Offenders

The Act replaced the previous law on the mandatory sentencing of defendants convicted of violent or sexual crimes, introducing compulsory life sentences or minimum sentences for over 150 offences (subject to the defendant meeting certain criteria). The Act created a new kind of life sentence, called "imprisonment for public protection" (or "detention for public protection" for those aged under 18), which may even be imposed for offences which would otherwise carry a maximum sentence of ten years.

In response to unprecedented prison overcrowding, Parliament passed sections 13 to 17 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 (with effect from 14 July 2008), which imposed stricter criteria for the imposition of these sentences, and restored judicial discretion by providing that they were no longer compulsory when the criteria were met.

Read more about this topic:  Criminal Justice Act 2003, Sentencing Reform

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