Sentencing is an essential element of the criminal justice process. Different forms of punishment have historical roots linking them to cultural and political environments from which they have derived: helps explain longevity of some usual forms of punishment and explains process of change. Sentencing needs to be understood as pragmatic aspect of ongoing philosophical and political debate about punishment, sanctions and relations between citizens and state. Organized communities require normative structure which includes set of rules to protect things considered most valuable to community and its survival. Modern general of these rules known as penal codes or criminal codes. Some codes deal with substance (including statements about responsibility, incapacity, justifications, and excuses) Others deal with procedures such as investigation and arrest, structure of adjudicative and penal regimes. 2 common characteristics of modern codes: contain descriptions of offences and statements of prescribed punishments, **crime and punishment. Explains variability of criminal law over time and political nature of its changes.