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Sentencing Paper Essay

Punishment can be broke down into four fundamental objectives. These objectives are deterrence, retribution, rehabilitation, and incapacitation. The first is deterrence; this is where people are discouraged from committing crimes. This can be broken down into two subcategories; specific and general. Specific is aimed at offender do not want to commit a crime because of the punishment received the last time they were caught. General is where someone is made an example to prevent others from doing the same thing. An example would be the over publicizing of inmates that receive death sentences. The second is retribution; this means that they punishment needs to fit the crime. A judge will not sentence someone to five years for a traffic violation and give a convicted murder just a few days. Judges need to take into account the full impact the crime had on everyone.

The next objective is rehabilitation or reform. This aims at changing the behavior that caused the individual to commit their crime in the hopes that they will not commit the offence again. Some examples of this would be community service and counseling. Some of the specialized courts concentrate on this objective. They require the offenders to complete mandated counseling and upon completion, the rest of their sentence is completed. The final and stricter objective is incapacitation. This objective is usually reserved for the more heinous crimes and offenders that maybe incapable of reform. These types of crime would involve multiple murders or large amount of public terror. How does sentencing affect the state and federal corrections systems overall? Support your answer.

Sentencing has an effect on all levels of government. Once incarcerated, the state or federal government has taken on the financial burden of supporting and providing for that individual. What is determinate and indeterminate sentencing? Which sentencing model do you feel is most appropriate? Explain why and provide an example.

A determinate sentence is a set punishment for a specific crime. A parole board or other agency cannot change this sentence. The inmate will serve the time that is imposed. On the other side is indeterminate sentencing. This is where a minimum amount of time is severed and once that passes, a periodic review will be made to determine if the individual is able to be released.

I feel that both models have their role in our criminal justice system. For misdemeanor and traffic convictions, a determinate model should be used. Most of these crimes are usually more cut and dry, and the fines or confinement is usually small. However, with felonies there is a much larger scope and more is involved. There is also a larger gap for confinement. When dealing with larger times, there are more factors. People learn at different rates and some may rehabilitate or reform faster than others reform.


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