Sentencing Sentencing occurs after a defendant has been convicted of a crime. During the sentencing process, the court issues a punishment that involves a fine, imprisonment, capital punishment, or some other penalty. In some states, juries may be entitled to determine a sentence. However, sentencing in most states and federal courts are issued by a judge. To fully understand the sentencing phase of criminal court proceedings, it is important to examine how sentencing affects the state and federal prison systems, learn the meanings of determinate and indeterminate sentencing, and understand the impact Proposition 57 has had on sentencing in California.
How Sentencing Affects the State and Federal Prison Systems The United States …show more content…
These models are issued based on the type and seriousness of the crime committed (Seiter, 2014). Determinate sentencing means that an offender is being sentenced to a fixed amount of time in the prison system with a specific release date. In contrast, an indeterminate sentence involves an offender being sentenced to prison for a term that includes a minimum sentence without a specific maximum term. After the minimum sentence has been served, the case goes before a parole board for possible early release (Seiter, …show more content…
This model focuses on the individual needs of the offender and in doing so increases their chance of living sober once they reenter society. For example, indeterminate sentencing allows offenders who exhibit good behavior and participate in prison substance abuse programs to be paroled closer to the minimum sentencing term. This means the offender can be released from prison based on conditions set forth by the court. If the offender violates parole by committing another crime or failing to continue substance abuse treatment, they can be returned to prison. Furthermore, offering indeterminate sentencing for offenders who meet the criteria creates prison space thus helping with the ongoing problem of prison overcrowding (Seiter,
Deterrence is future oriented to prevent crimes. Deterrence has two types general and specific. General is an individual punishment to dissuade others from committing crimes and specific is an individual being punished for additional
This started in the early 1930s, and ended around the 1960s. This is when the research really occurred because nothing seemed to be working and around 1970s, the government abolished or attempted to abolish parole. Under conditional release of parole, there are two different types, discretionary release, and mandatory release. The discretionary release is based on the paroling authority’s assessment of the offender’s eligibility. Mandatory release is an early release after a time period specified by law.
A recent trend in the United States Justice System, at local and state levels, is to implement the use of formulas and algorithms to determine sentencing length. In her article “Sentencing, by the Numbers”, University of Michigan law professor Sonja Starr focuses on this trend, and shows flaws that she finds in the system. In the article, she agrees with the actions of Attorney General Eric Holder in criticizing the system for the way in which it determines the risk of future crimes. Throughout, Starr presents the system as something that will, instead of solving mass incarceration, make the problem worse for impoverished persons and minorities. Starr argues that the system discriminates against those with a socioeconomic disadvantage, has
In chapter 15 of Corrections in America, the author outlined the history of parole and compares and contrast parole and pardon. The author also describes the current status of parole in the United States and the prisoner reentry process. In addition, this chapter explains how parole is granted and the role of the parole board, how parole supervision is terminated, re entry courts, and the effectiveness of parole. Parole is a correctional option that often evokes feelings.
Over the past 40 years U.S. incarceration has grown at an extraordinary rate, with the United States’ prison population increasing from 320,000 inmates in 1980 to nearly 2.3 million inmates in 2013. The growth in prison population is in part due to society’s shift toward tough on crime policies including determinate sentencing, truth-in-sentencing laws, and mandatory minimums. These tough on crime policies resulted in more individuals committing less serious crimes being sentenced to serve time and longer prison sentences. The 1970s-1980s: The War on Drugs and Changes in Sentencing Policy Incarceration rates did rise above 140 persons imprisoned per 100,000 of the population until the mid 1970s.
For crimes that do not require incarceration, "it is not a departure for a judge to impose a sentence within the applicable sentencing guidelines range." (Massachusetts Sentencing Guidelines, February 1998, the Honorable Robert A. Mulligan, Chairman). If the minimum term exceeds the sentencing guidelines than the imposition of the statutory minimum is not a
Defined as a public policy that imposes an outlined amount of prison time based on the crime committed and the defendant’s criminal history, these sentences dictate that a judge must enact a statutory fixed penalty on individuals convicted of certain crimes, regardless of extenuating circumstances. Such laws have removed discretionary sentencing power from judges, instead focusing on severe punishments in line with national drug and crime concerns. While the original goal of mandatory minimum sentences was to deter potential criminals, reduce drug use, control judicial prudence, the policy has had extreme consequences such as sentencing imbalances and
Most criminals were given only broad maximum terms of (state of being locked in a prison). If federal judges were selected/hired to deliver any sentence, the sentence would go from probation to the law-related highest possible value. No meaningful (taking a court case to a higher court for review) of the sentence was available to the offender. With the judges meeting up to make their final legal decision, each judge 's individual ideas/plans of justice and views of the purposes of sentencing, and sentences for almost the same offenses varied very much depending on the identity of the sentencing judge. Also, the system was not limited to sentencing judges.
The United States has a larger percent of its population incarcerated than any other country. America is responsible for a quarter of the world’s inmates, and its incarceration rate is growing exponentially. The expense generated by these overcrowded prisons cost the country a substantial amount of money every year. While people are incarcerated for several reasons, the country’s prisons are focused on punishment rather than reform, and the result is a misguided system that fails to rehabilitate criminals or discourage crime. This literature review will discuss the ineffectiveness of the United States’ criminal justice system and how mass incarceration of non-violent offenders, racial profiling, and a high rate of recidivism has become a problem.
For example, a first offense for 1 to 49 plants of marijuana will get a person no more than five years in prison, while the second offense for the same charge will increase the prison term to no more than ten years (Levinthal, 2012). In a criminal court system, the use of mandatory minimum sentencing has its own share of pros and cons. As judges are provided with strict guidelines they must follow in sentencing, the judges are not able to use their personal bias or sympathy for the individual involved to determine what their sentencing term should be (Taslitz, 2013). It also places more significance on the charges that the prosecution team files against them.
Sentencing for a crooked offenses can range from community service and probation, even leading up to the death penalty. There are things called the “three strikes” sentencing laws, state-specific guidelines, mandatory minimum sentences, etc... Sentencing in the court system takes place straight after the misdemeanors, convictions, or if the defendant pleads guilty (Find Law, 2016). If the criminal cases are more miscellaneous, such as involving serious felonies, the sentencing judge will require the defense, probation department, and the prosecutors input. The judge will consider multiple factors determining a criminals sentence. He will consider if the offender has any criminal history, if the offender was the main accessory (which is someone who assists the main person that commits the crime), if the offender appearance is displayed well (as if they show remorse or regret), if anyone was injured or the crime was particularly likely to result into injury , or if the offender was cruel to a victim, destructive, etc... Judges in most cases have a clear mindset when determining a proper sentence.
I believe that the longer the sentence, the more a criminal pays for what they have done. A determinate sentence is a sentence that has a defined length and can’t be changed by a parole agency. Six month sentences, for example, are considered determinate because the criminal will spend six months behind bars and sometimes less, due to time off for behaving good, released to work, or other alternatives when applicable. On the other hand, indeterminate sentences consist of many years in, for example, 30 years to life.
In the criminal justice system, the corrections component is also responsible for the rehabilitation of the convicted individual. It is their duty to attempt to make the defendant a productive member of society once again. Based on the individual’s behavior while incarcerated, the court and corrections officials may decide to place them on parole, which ensures that the individual will comply with the rules of society once they are fully released from the system. The criminal justice system is an essential role in the organizational structure of not only the United States but also in countries around the world. If there were no criminal justice system to administer punishment, the world would be unstructured, disorganized, unjustified, cruel, and not to mention a chaotic place for it citizens.