As argued the desert model views this commensurate principle as a requirement of justice, whereas the Utilitarian and Retributive models use "deterrence, incapacitation, and rehabilitation as strategies for controlling crime. " Deserts also explains seriousness necessitating two components, harm and culpability. For a crime to be considered serious under deserts the offender must either cause harm or have the intent to harm , such as armed robbery, but an inconvenience to the victim, as in a burglary, is not deemed serious.
The utilitarian and retributive models diverge, claiming even property crime to be serious as it influences a sequence of reactions. A discernible parameter of culpability is also included, noting the distinction of strict liability, the factors of the victim's role in precipitating the act, and the prospect of multiple offenders. Von Hirsch advocates gauging the magnitude of the crime by the harm done and the actions of the actor, not the entirety of harm, i. e. shoplifting is minor because the single act is minor, although the economic harm has extensive repercussions.
These points exceed approaches other models attempted in clarify points of emphasis on allocation. Some noteworthy points of interest that came about from his work were to limit state intervention and scale down punishment levels. If the state intervened in a criminal's life the state would have the burden of justifying the intervention at any degree given, and the more severe the punishment, or intervention, the more justification needed. Also there must be a distinction between incarceration and allocation.
Just deserts does not prescribe to incarceration to be the answer for all crime problems as the other models attempted to do but for the more serious offenses and dangerous criminals von Hirsch has outlined a structure that assigns "presumptive sentences" to categories of crimes and is based on the characteristics of the crimes constructed of specific penalties with standard severity. The first step in this outline is to establish graded levels of gravity that would include guidelines which, based on the offense, would direct which categories and levels to choose from that had specified penalties.
At this point repeat offenders would have an augmented sentence that hinged on the amount and seriousness of their prior convictions. As previously mentioned, incarceration is not the only sentence that could be allocated to an offender. Von Hirsch accomplishes a better punishment system through the deserts model by suggesting methods of deriving sentencing, proposing alternatives to incarceration and variations of sentencing options. The other models previously mentioned had problems in scaling allocation and how to address less serious offenses.
Utilitarian suggested not to punish for some crimes because there were not any restraints in place or the mischief did not warrant punishment because of unprofitability or needlessness. Retribution conveys punishment because it "rights the wrong" and has closure, when the debt is paid life continues, but not all wrongs are worth the sanction of prison. Another problem these models have is they fail to specify what and how much punishment should be distributed for crimes that warrant incarceration.
Von Hirsch suggests two ways to derive the penalties. First, arbitrary sentences may be used at the commencement and sentences would be adjusted as experience comes about and the court ascertain better alternatives. Second, using appellate reviews to ascertain the standards through case laws. Additionally, von Hirsch considered alternatives as opposed to theoretical options left for lawmakers to interpret; these included warnings and releases, intermittent confinement, community service, fines and probation.
Finally, von Hirsch arrays penalties on a scale and asserts what the penalties should be using three concerns, the structure, magnitude and levels. The structure of the scale would consist of two aspects: the seriousness of the present crime the offender positions for conviction and his prior record. The magnitude of the scale, previously covered using two controls, sets boundaries and has its own principles via parsimony and diminishing returns. These principles advocate less intervention and maximum levels of punishment.
The sentencing levels move toward a clarity level never before seen in other models of punishment by stipulating four ranges that an offender could be categorized in and suggesting penalties and limits of incarceration for each one. These parameters range from minor offenses that exclude incarceration and engage alternatives such as intermittent confinement to serious offenses that mandate confinement. However, all ranges are restricted to scaled-down terms, assorted from eighteen months to five years, leaving room for steeper sentences reserved for repeat offenders and truly dangerous criminals.