There are four main philosophical reasons surrounding the purpose of sentencing criminals. Retribution is of the main reasons and is the philosophy that is the criminal’s punishment that shall be determined on the severity of the crime that has been committed. The retribution philosophy goes by the Old Testament which states “eye for an eye.” Deterrence is also another reason. The basis of deterrence is its effectiveness that a criminal will realize their punishment from the crime actually outweighs the crime itself. The philosophy goes to say that the criminal prevents the return of the criminal.
The specific deterrence basis theory is that once a criminal is punished and released that they will be less likely to commit any more crimes. The incapacitation philosophy is the philosophy that believes by incarnating criminals will effectively keep these criminals from committing further crimes. One of the more important philosophies is rehabilitation. This is a means of trying to teach a criminal not to commit furthers acts of crime. This philosophy firmly believes that the public is better serviced when a criminal is given certain resources that will help them be done with any criminal behavior they may have.
There are six main forces of punishment used to punish criminals for their crimes. Capital punishment or also widely known as the death penalty is the legal process where a criminal is put to death by the state as a punishment for a crime they have committed. This punishment uses the incapacitating philosophy and most definitely the retribution philosophy. Imprisonment is another form of punishment. Imprisonment refers to the restraint of a criminal’s liberty. Imprisonment is when a criminal is incarcerated for a crime they have committed. This also uses the incapacitating philosophy and also hopes of rehabilitation. Probation is used as an alternative to incarcerating a criminal for a crime they have committed. Probation is an order by court to be under certain supervision and follow certain rules and guidelines. This is a way for them to deter a criminal from becoming a repeat offender.
Paying fines another way to punish a criminal. Ordering a criminal by court to pay fines for a crime they have committed is on the lesser scale of a punishment. However failure to do so may result in a higher punishment. This is a deterrent in hopes they learn by not wanting to pay anymore of their earned money to the system. Restorative justice uses the retribution by makings others replace or fix what they have broken or destroyed. Restorative justice uses an approach to justice that focuses on the needs of the victims.
Victims take an active role in the punishment. For example if a criminal were to have vandalized a store the store owner may take part in the punishment and demand the criminal help clean up and restore the store the criminal damaged. Community service is another way to punish a criminal. This punishment too is on a lower scale of punishment but failure to do so may result in fines and even jail time. This is a way to give them a chance and also a way to attempt to rehabilitate the criminals. Community service is a donated service or an activity that is performed to benefit the public or communities. It is not the same as volunteering, since it is not always done voluntarily by people.
Sentencing is an important aspect in the criminal justice system. It is punishment that defendants receive when they become convicted of a crime they have committed. The punishment spectrum has a vast range of punishment from community service and fines to incarceration and being sentenced to death. Punishment and sentencing present some of the most complex issues. According to the text it reads in one scholar is that there is no such thing as an accruable sentence and there are only sentences that are more or less effective.
Nothing in the recent or past history of sentencing that suggests there is anything that approaches perfection. A sentence forms a final and explicit act of a ruling made by a judge. The act may generally involve a decree of imprisonment and/or a fine and other punishments. Punishment is an authoritative imposition of something negative or unpleasant of a person in response to a behavior deemed wrong by the law.
I have a few recommendations for how to modify the sentencing process to decrease recidivism rates. Clearance rates are calculation by dividing the number of crimes that are cleared from a record by the total number of crimes recorded. These are used by different criminal justice systems as a measure of crimes solved by the law. Clearance rates can tend to be very problematic for measuring the performance of the law. I believe this is because a police force may employ a different way of measuring clearance rates. Each police force has a different method of measuring this rate. Further focus on clearance rates may result in effort being expended to attribute crimes more correctly for a criminal that may actually result in retribution, compensation, rehabilitation, and even deterrence. This would greatly benefit our justice system.