Sentencing in the Netherlands

Taking Risk-Related Offender Characteristics into Account

By S.G.C. van Wingerden

In criminal proceedings, the sentencing decision of the judge might be the most important decision, not only because of the impact the punishment has on the offender, but also because the sentencing decision is a cornerstone of the legitimacy of the entire criminal justice system. Nonetheless, there still are questions about the factors that judges take into account when making their sentencing decision. This book offers an improved understanding of judges' sentencing decisions. The developments in criminal justice practices, with regards to the emergence of 'actuarial justice,' have directed the focus of this study to risk-based sentencing in the Netherlands. Are offenders with a high risk of reoffending more likely to be sentenced to imprisonment and to longer prison terms than low-risk offenders? To what extent do judges take information into account on the risk-related personal characteristics of the offender - such as unemployment, ties to family or friends, or drug usage - when making their sentencing decision? Using uniquely detailed data on the risk-related social circumstances of the offender, along with advanced quantitative and qualitative research methods, this study provides in-depth insight into sentencing. [Subject: Criminology, Criminal Justice]

Publication Date: 10/5/2014
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9789462364790

Available in other formats