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Punitive Nature of the Conditional Sentence

Healy, Patrick
June 4, 2015

Source: (2000) In, Canada Department of Justice, The Changing Face of Conditional Sentencing. Ottawa ON: Canada Department of Justice. Pp. 1-7.

The Canada Supreme Court situated the conditional sentence of imprisonment between a term of actual incarceration in a jail and a suspended sentence with probation. As a rule, a conditional sentence should include some restriction of liberty or confinement such as house arrest, curfew, or electronic monitoring. While the presence of aggravating factors will not necessarily preclude a conditional sentence, they will be reflected in the duration and rigor of the conditions. The general statement of principle is that the creation of the conditional sentence has not marked a shift from punitive to restorative sentencing and the current interpretation of the conditional sentence is consistent with continuing emphasis upon punitive objectives in sentencing. The conditional sentence is a sentence of imprisonment in two senses: in the absence of compelling reasons to do otherwise, every conditional sentence must include a significant restriction of liberty and the “threatâ€? of imprisonment for breach must be real. The objectives of restorative justice are secondary in the general run of cases because they are optional while punishment is mandatory. Abstract courtesy of National Criminal Justice Reference Service,


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