There is also a need to manage the risks associated with the use of incarceration, and the potential for ‘net-widening’. Evidence shows that toughening policies on domestic and family violence may have contributed to the steep rise in imprisonment (Weatherburn 2018). Few would argue against holding offenders accountable, and incarceration has obvious benefits in protecting victims from persistent violent offenders. There are undoubtedly circumstances where incarceration is the only option available for protecting the safety of victims. However, it is not the only penalty available. Swiftness and certainty are far more important than the severity of the punishment. Kennedy, Kleiman and Braga (2017) argue that strict enforcement of community-based sentences and order violations may also work effectively.
Posted on by Kelly Smith