Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council
When imposing a sentence on a defendant, a
magistrate or judge has a range of sentencing
Learning outcomes
Students will:
describe key terms using legal terminology,
including custodial and non-custodial
describe the range of sentencing options, including
nes, good behaviour bonds, probation, suspended
sentence, community service orders, intensive
correction orders and imprisonment
evaluate, using legal criteria, the effectiveness of
sentences and punishment
Focus question
What different types of sentencing options exist
in Queensland?
How effective are different types of
sentencing options?
Key concepts
community service order
custodial sentence
good behaviour
intensive correction order
non-custodial sentence
suspended sentence
Getting started
Write a list of sentencing options. Ask students which
one they think is the most commonly used? Why?
From the same list of sentencing options, ask students
to identify which ones are custodial and which ones
are non-custodial. Why is it important that judges have
a range of sentencing options?
Ask students to generate a list of ways you could judge
whether a sentence is effective or not (this will be
useful later on).
Curriculum links
This learning resource has been developed for
students studying Legal Studies 2019 (General Senior
Syllabus) in Year 11.
It ties in with Unit 1: Beyond reasonable doubt, Topic 4:
Punishment and sentencing.
Further resources
The following websites may further enhance the
learning outcomes associated with this resource:
Caxton Legal Centre Inc.,
The Queensland Law Handbook
Legal Aid Queensland,
Possible penalties and sentences
Queensland Government,
Types of sentences
Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council,
Queensland Sentencing Guide
Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council,
Sentencing adult offenders
In some instances, the language used in these resources reects that of the relevant educational syllabus as opposed to terms commonly used in
Queensland legislation. For instance, the word ‘retribution’ is used in the syllabus, although ‘punishment’ is the closest equivalent used in legislation.
Your turn
Using the Queensland Sentencing Guide describe the range of sentencing options and orders listed in column two and three below. Complete some additional research to
discover two to three benets and limitations of the sentencing options listed (including in meeting the purposes of sentencing), correctly in-text referencing your sources.
When thinking about the benets or limitations of a particular sentencing option, you may like to consider the different perspectives of key stakeholders.
Sentencing option Custodial or
Description of sentencing option Benets Limitations
Community service
(with parole)
Wholly suspended
Partially suspended
Probation order
Penalty types
The types of penalties a court can impose when sentencing an adult are set out in the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 (Qld). There are two broad types of sentencing
orders for adults:
non-custodial orders, that do not involve the person being sentenced to imprisonment (such as a ne, good behaviour bond, community service or probation)
custodial sentencing orders, that involve the person being sentenced to a period of imprisonment.
There are a number of different sentencing orders that a court can impose on adults sentenced under the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 (Qld).
SOURCE: Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council, Queensland Sentencing Guide, p. 27.
Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council
Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council
Your turn
Construct an extended response of at least 250 words that recommends whether nes should
continue to be used as a sentencing option.
When evaluating the use of nes as a sentencing option, use legal criteria.
Possible criteria you may wish to include as part of your response are:
the elements of the rule of law (law is applied equally and fairly, it is capable of being
known by everyone, the law and its administration is subject to open and free criticism,
there is separation of powers, there is judicial discretion, the judicial system is impartial
and independent, the rights of the accused and victim are upheld)
the features of an effective law (such as the law is known, capable of being enforced,
represents and is accepted by the people, clear, stable, able to be changed, applied
consistently and is able to resolve disputes)
the law meets its objectives or purpose
the law doesn’t adversely or inequitably impact a specic group of people in society
the law supports just and equitable outcomes
the law reects our human rights
© Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council 2020
Published May 2020
Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council