The following essay seeks to look at the changes that have affected sentencing within the context of the criminal justice system in the United Kingdom especially with regards to the reduction in sentencing of guilty pleas at the dawn of the twenty first century. Thus, the essay will focus not only upon aspects of criminology and the criminal justice system in the contemporary era but also upon the political legislation that acts as the framework through which the criminal justice system acts. As far as the specific topic at hand is concerned, then, we will be particularly interested in analysing the 2003 Criminal Justice Act and the implications that this has had for sentencing policy. Clearly, we will not only look at the implications of the 2003 Criminal Justice Act. The Act did not occur in isolation; moreover, there has not been a change of government in the UK since 1997 – policy can therefore be traced along a discernibly linear pathway. As a result, we need to look at the Crime and Disorder Act of 1998, which first began the process of the devolution of policing in the UK – shunting responsibility for sentencing away from the political centre towards the margins of local government, representing a “comprehensive and targeted local approach to crime control.