Juvenile Justice: CRJ301
March 26, 2012
A major issue in criminal justice is sentencing. Sentencing is the process by which judges impose punishment on a person convicted of a crime or crimes (Wallace 2012). After, a person is convicted of a crime, whether through a guilty plea, plea bargain, or jury verdict, the appropriate legal punishment is determined at the sentencing phase. Sentencing usually takes place almost immediately after convictions for infractions and minor misdemeanors, or when a defendant has pled guilty. “In the United States today, there is no standard when it comes to sentencing and punishment.” This area of the criminal justice system is one that is in constant flux. Sentencing practices and goals are always under scrutiny, from getting tough on crime to more rehabilitative approaches, the views and goals of sentencing are ever changing. When examining criminal sentencing one must first understand the basic theories associated with the punishments given to criminals. There are five main goals/ theories behind criminal sentencing: retribution, deterrence, incapacitation, rehabilitation, and restoration. In the United States, we believe punishment is necessary to maintain order and show fairness to those who do not violate the rules and laws we live by. “Punishment is used on many different levels, we use it from the basics to teach children right from wrong, and we use it as a means to deal with societies most despicable offenders.” Punishment in this sense also serves as retribution. Retribution is the idea that someone should be punished based on what they did. Today there are many things the criminal justice system aims to do by imposing punishments and sentences. Goals of punishment have moved from satisfying the victim, as in early days, to more of a broad scale. Because punishment and sentencing encompass many ideas and somewhat...