Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight: Imprisonment for possessing a bladed article in a public place is a disproportionate and ineffective sentencing strategy

    Research output: Other contribution

    Abstract

    Over the past 60 years, Parliament has become ever more concerned with the use of knives in criminal offences and, as a result, has introduced a range of increasingly authoritative legislative measures to regulate the possession of blades and to punish those who violate the provisions. When first enacted, the maximum penalty for possession of a bladed article was merely a fine. Following a number of staged increases, the offence is now punishable with up to four years imprisonment. Sentencing guidelines provide that the starting point for an offender carrying a knife in a public place, in circumstances where it is not used to threaten or cause fear and where it was not likely to be so used, is 12 weeks imprisonment. This distinctly utilitarian threat of imprisonment projects a clear message that carrying knives is abhorrent but given the reasons why offenders carry such items, it is questionable whether it is in fact a disincentive. This soapbox speech postulates that a prison sentence is a disproportionate response to the carrying of a knife in a public place and will never be an effective deterrent.
    LanguageEnglish
    TypeConference paper
    Publication statusAccepted/In press - Oct 2014

    Fingerprint

    imprisonment
    possession
    offender
    offense
    parliament
    penalty
    threat
    anxiety
    cause

    Keywords

    • Knife
    • deterrence
    • sentencing

    Cite this

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    title = "Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight: Imprisonment for possessing a bladed article in a public place is a disproportionate and ineffective sentencing strategy",
    abstract = "Over the past 60 years, Parliament has become ever more concerned with the use of knives in criminal offences and, as a result, has introduced a range of increasingly authoritative legislative measures to regulate the possession of blades and to punish those who violate the provisions. When first enacted, the maximum penalty for possession of a bladed article was merely a fine. Following a number of staged increases, the offence is now punishable with up to four years imprisonment. Sentencing guidelines provide that the starting point for an offender carrying a knife in a public place, in circumstances where it is not used to threaten or cause fear and where it was not likely to be so used, is 12 weeks imprisonment. This distinctly utilitarian threat of imprisonment projects a clear message that carrying knives is abhorrent but given the reasons why offenders carry such items, it is questionable whether it is in fact a disincentive. This soapbox speech postulates that a prison sentence is a disproportionate response to the carrying of a knife in a public place and will never be an effective deterrent.",
    keywords = "Knife, deterrence, sentencing",
    author = "Joanne Clough",
    year = "2014",
    month = "10",
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    T1 - Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight: Imprisonment for possessing a bladed article in a public place is a disproportionate and ineffective sentencing strategy

    AU - Clough, Joanne

    PY - 2014/10

    Y1 - 2014/10

    N2 - Over the past 60 years, Parliament has become ever more concerned with the use of knives in criminal offences and, as a result, has introduced a range of increasingly authoritative legislative measures to regulate the possession of blades and to punish those who violate the provisions. When first enacted, the maximum penalty for possession of a bladed article was merely a fine. Following a number of staged increases, the offence is now punishable with up to four years imprisonment. Sentencing guidelines provide that the starting point for an offender carrying a knife in a public place, in circumstances where it is not used to threaten or cause fear and where it was not likely to be so used, is 12 weeks imprisonment. This distinctly utilitarian threat of imprisonment projects a clear message that carrying knives is abhorrent but given the reasons why offenders carry such items, it is questionable whether it is in fact a disincentive. This soapbox speech postulates that a prison sentence is a disproportionate response to the carrying of a knife in a public place and will never be an effective deterrent.

    AB - Over the past 60 years, Parliament has become ever more concerned with the use of knives in criminal offences and, as a result, has introduced a range of increasingly authoritative legislative measures to regulate the possession of blades and to punish those who violate the provisions. When first enacted, the maximum penalty for possession of a bladed article was merely a fine. Following a number of staged increases, the offence is now punishable with up to four years imprisonment. Sentencing guidelines provide that the starting point for an offender carrying a knife in a public place, in circumstances where it is not used to threaten or cause fear and where it was not likely to be so used, is 12 weeks imprisonment. This distinctly utilitarian threat of imprisonment projects a clear message that carrying knives is abhorrent but given the reasons why offenders carry such items, it is questionable whether it is in fact a disincentive. This soapbox speech postulates that a prison sentence is a disproportionate response to the carrying of a knife in a public place and will never be an effective deterrent.

    KW - Knife

    KW - deterrence

    KW - sentencing

    M3 - Other contribution

    ER -