Mandatory minimum sentences were established as the response to complaints from politicians and the public that offenders weren’t serving long enough terms for their convictions. These sentences stipulate a minimum period of incarceration that people convicted of selected crimes must serve (p.80). Mandatory minimum sentences apply primarily to drug offenses, murder, aggravated rape, felonies involving firearms, and felonies committed by people who have previous felony convictions (4). An example of a mandatory sentencing is the three-strikes laws. Under these laws, the judge is required to sentence offenders to long prison terms if they have three felony convictions, sometimes they are sentenced to life without parole.
Harold Wilson, the Labour Politician who became Prime Minister in 1964, passed the Criminal Justice Act of 1967, which introduced reform in three sections: the prison system and sentencing practises of courts, juvenile offenders and the law on murder. A suspended sentence was introduced which aimed at reducing mandatory prison sentences. Magistrates were encouraged to not give prison sentences to people who had only committed minor offences. This resulted in fewer people going to prison for crimes punishable by a fine or community service. Sydney Silverman managed to abolish the death penalty in 1965 which was seen as huge progress.
Submission 3 Should the U.S Congress Repeal the Second Chance Act? Argument 1 - Privilege: that privilege was abundant and as such defeat the purpose of serving one’s actual sentence for the ills committed Analysis of Argumentation The question here is that what is the type of prisoner you want to return on the streets? Should he be the same person who came in and continue to do the crimes or should he be the person who would have been changed for good? The underlying difference here is that the person who is good is a subjective question. Before custody: From a research conducted, we know that 52% of male offenders and 71% of female offenders have no qualifications whatsoever.
I believe we can bring about change in the prison system by changing the way we punish people who do commit crimes and focusing more on actual rehabilitation. In 1972, former President Richard Nixon made his infamous statements regarding crime and drug abuse. In this speech, he declared a war on crime and drugs and intended to decrease the number of people using drugs and the amount of crimes that were committed. Since this declaration, incarceration rates in the U.S. have gone up by 500%, even though the amount of crime happening has gone down. One of the reasons why I feel our rates have risen, is because sometimes, we put people in jail when they don’t need to be there in the first place.
Having individuals locked up and hidden from society is not the right way to go about punishment. Instead the correctional system should guide and mentor those convicted and should help alter their behavior so that they are more suitable to live in society. Sentencing someone to prison without giving them the tools to correct the behavior that was problematic in the first place actually defeats the purpose of the punishment because the individual will likely repeat the same offense over
The purpose of this paper is to examine recidivism and public perception. Every year thousands of ex-offenders are returned to prison for a variety of reasons. Many jurisdictions lack the resources for ex-offenders to have a successful return to society (James, 2011). The disadvantages of recidivism effects not only the lives of felons, but also their families and surrounding communities. Recidivism occurs when a person has been previously incarcerated, and later released, reoffends, and returns to the correctional system.
Some prisoners may rather receive the death penalty and take the “quicker route” rather than spend the rest of their lives miserably with no chance of parole. A third advantage of life in prison is that punishments are scaled in an effective manner. This basically means that the more heinous the crime, the more severe the punishment will be. For example, if a person commits petty theft, they know that they are going to receive a punishment that actually fits their crime. “On the other hand, a person who commits a murder or a rape knows that they are risking their freedom, which can serve as a powerful deterrent” (Apecsecadmin).
There’s always something to fix in society because society is a reflection of us, and we are not perfect. Recently, there’s been many issues that have caught the attention of people living all across the world. Things such as police brutality, sexual assualt in the workplace, and immigration law, just to name a few, but there’s also been an underlying issue that people are becoming more informedinormed about, and that I believe matters - prison reform. Prison reform matters because in many instances, prisoners are treated inhumanely when they are locked up, and aren’t treated as humans when they have served their time. I believe we can bring about change in the prison system by changing the way we punish people who do commit crimes and focusing more on actual rehabilitation.
is likely that ex-offenders might relapse to criminal behaviorand return back to prison due to the difficulty and stress in managing a different yet normal life (Wikoff, Linhorst&Morani, 2012). This relapse to criminal behavior or reoffending after the offender receives necessary sanction or undergoes intervention for the previous crime is coined as recidivism (Maltz, 2001). Maltz (2001) also contends that recidivism is one of the most fundamental concepts in criminal justice. It results from psychological, social and economic consequences of the offence for the incarcerated individual (Rujjavanet, 2013). Existing studies on recidivism (New York Council of State Governments Justice Center, 2014; Maltz, 2001; Taylor, 2012) have consistently noted that unsuccessful reintegration and recidivism have been alarming problems confronting these correctional facilities.It has been established that one of the primary issues in the correctional services field is the reintegration of ex-prisoners (Shinkfield&Graffam, 2009).
Through the various “seasons” endured by the United State, such as the “Tough on Crime” period of the 1990s, prison education took its downfall through widespread bankruptcy (The Editorial Board). This period eliminated Pell Grants, and the result was a cost inefficiency. With many programs showing evidence for cost savings, educational rehabilitation is clearly the solution for this time. In a current state of increased advocacy for inmates and their treatment (Esperian), the change needed can become a reality. Pell grants offer inmates the opportunity to finish their schooling, a right and a privilege that most Americans would testify as a beneficial experience.
(2013) and Hopkins Burke (2012). The article from the Huffington Post, titled “Let’s Stop Treating Mental Illness Like It’s a Crime”, discusses concerns with mentally ill persons not receiving proper treatment while incarcerated. Another problem noted is the inability of communities to meet the needs mentally ill individuals within them. The author contends that these factors initiate a cycle that turns jails and prisons into “de facto asylums” with the likely hood that those in need of care will return to jail. This is supported by statistics provided by an article from the Texas Tribune which stated that from a sample of 900 subjects who had been in and out of
We are paying too much for prisons and this can be greatly reduced I believe. The goal of going to prison in my opinion is to have that person change, realize what they’ve done and have a form of normalization practiced in the prisons so they have that preparation for re-assimilation into the normal world. Don’t get me wrong, SOME inmates do not deserve a second change to be with society again. Those I would consider to be the more heinous of crimes. I’m referring to the medium to lesser charges, including drug charges and immigration.
It is believed that letting a criminal free from incarceration puts society at risk. Before the reform recidivism rates were high, scaring the public with the idea that criminals can reenter society. When comparing individuals who were sentenced to prison to those in diversion programs, those in diversion programs were more likely to stay out of jail while those who went to jail were more likely to have re-arrests. It was reported that 64% of the treatment sample were arrest-free over a two-year follow up period. Those in the diversion program had recidivism rates as low as 36%; this compares to the group who were given jail time with a recidivism rate of 54% (Parsons, Wei, Henrichson, Drucker, & Trone, 2015).
Public shaming is an alternative to incarceration because it is an act of specific deterrence, in that an individual would be deterred from committing the crime again due to being humiliated. Home confinement and electronic monitoring are another possible alternative to incarceration. Home confinement reduces the cost of housing the specific individual in state and federal prisons. Electronic monitoring would allow the offenders to work while they serve out their time which again, would reduce the prison populations. Boot camps are another option for alternatives to incarceration.