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Bill Recommendation Essay

Is it a good idea for those individuals convicted of armed robbery to receive double the sentence that it is now? In my opinion the answer is no. Policy making in the field of criminal justice is extremely vital to society. Punishments can be very confusing in the fact of what is appropriate. What is too much and what is too little?

There have been many studies that show that there is little or no deterrent of crime such as armed robbery when the punishment is a long sentence to prison. The reason for this lack of deterrent is because the person who is committing the crime or crimes knows what is at stake, yet he or she chooses to commit the robbery anyway. This is because the gains of that robbery outweigh the prison sentence.

The main purpose of this bill is to stop or at least lessen the amount of armed robbery that is being committed by putting those who commit the crime behind bars for a longer period of time. This seems like a good idea at first glance. However there is more to this proposition. Lengthening the prison sentence is being used as a deterrent or to simply take the bad guys off the street for longer. This has not worked in the past and will not work now. Facing a long sentence has not deterred robbery from happening.

If prison sentencing was enough robbery would not be around in society especially not as frequent as it is today. According to a study done by the FBI in 2006 447,403 robberies were reported to the police, which equals out to a rate of one robbery per minute in the United States (McGoey, 2014). The punishment for robbery can be up to 25 years in the United States. Doubling that and making the sentence 50 years will hardly make any change in the robbery rate. If anything it would just cause the jails and prisons to become overpopulated quicker, costing taxpayers more money.

Bill Recommendation

There are more effective ways to address a crime than make the punishments more intense or longer. The classic school of criminology is what I base my recommendation on. In the late 1700’s, which are the time that the classical school came about, the punishment for crimes was extremely cruel and would be seen today as barbaric. Cesare de Beccaria and Jeremy Bentham played a tremendous role in the theory of criminology and criminal justice today would not be where it is without them. Their main focus was to lessen the harsh punishments implemented by the judicial system at the time (Schmalleger, 2012).

Cesare de Baccaria believed that preventing crimes would benefit a society more than punishing someone who committed a crime. This belief was the driving force of the classic school of criminology. He believed the punishment should fit the crime for instance theft should be punished through the use of fines and crimes that cause personal injury to be punished by corporal punishment. This would, in turn he believed, prevent these crimes from happening. Jeremy Bentham viewed crime a little differently than Beccaria. Bentham was viewed as a utilitarian. He believed that the punishment for any crime must be that of the greater good for the community. Basically stating that any pain being used as a punishment towards an offender must be justified to benefit the good of the society.

Modern criminal justice still holds its foundation in that of the classic school of criminology. Having said that, long prison sentences do act as a major deterrent for many criminals, but poses a major conflict of ideas to that of the classic school of thought due to the fact that crimes are committed based on free will and rational thinking.

There are Bill Recommendation

many factors such as emotional instability in s sudden moment, and mental and physical disorders that a longer prison sentence simply would not abolish. There is also the very likely chance that drugs and or alcohol is involved. If the offender is being driven by an addiction nothing, surely not a longer prison sentence is going to persuade his or her decision (Schmalleger, 2012)

With all of that being said, the answer to decreasing crime, more specifically armed robbery, a longer prison sentence is not the answer. The question at hand is: what is the answer? This is a question that is going to be debated as long as crime is resent in the population. Juvenile criminals usually mature into adult criminals, so perhaps putting more criminal emphasis on juvenile crime must be done. In addition to everything, it is well known that drugs are the foundation of many crimes. Drugs are responsible for many thefts and robberies, and more time behind bars is not going to make a drug addict think twice before robbing someone. More emphasis needs to be put on the war on drugs and alcohol addiction. Put the taxpayers money to good use by stopping the spread of drugs, not on paying for more people inside if jails. Lets stop the robberies from happening.


McGoey, C.E. (2014). Robbery Facts: Violent Crime Against Persons. Retrieved from http://www.crimedoctor

Schmalleger, F. (2012). Criminology Today: An Integrative Introduction (6th ed.). Retrieved from The University of Phoenix eBook Collection database.

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