Mandatory sentencing no panacea


The Victorian Greens are calling for an end to the predicable on-the-fly approach favoured by Labor and the Opposition that presumes mandatory sentencing is a cure-all for every offence.

Mandatory sentencing has become the automatic response when a problem is in the news and politicians are expected to act. Not only is this lazy, it is ineffective.

The Greens oppose mandatory sentencing because it undermines the independence of the judicial system and can lead to unjust outcomes.

Quotes attributable to Victorian Greens spokesperson for Justice, Sue Pennicuik

“There is no evidence that mandatory sentencing deters crime, but it does distort justice.

“The best way to prevent crime is to address the causes, invest more in rehabilitation of offenders, make sure Victoria Police is well supported and leave sentencing up to the courts without limiting their options.

“Every case is different and will often involve a complex set of circumstances around the commission of the offence and the offender.

“Mandatory minimum sentences limit the ability of the courts to impose a sentence which is proportionate the particular case and result in more people serving jail time, when that may not be either the necessary or the best outcome in a particular case.”