Determinate Sentences

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Essay Question #1

Discuss the determinate sentencing process for juveniles under the Texas Youth Commission.

According to Texas Youth Commission a determinate sentence is defined as a blended sentencing system for the most serious offenses that provides the possibility of juvenile court transfer of youth at age 16 from TYC to the adult system to complete their sentence. The Process of determinate sentencing for juveniles is a long journey and different for all that go through it. The Texas Youth Commission is the most serious place a juvenile offender can go to in the state of Texas. If the juvenile offender would have been certified as an adult he would have been sent to the adult system which is even more serious. The first step of the process takes place in juvenile court where the decision to send the juvenile to TYC is made by the juvenile court judges, once the decision is made to send the youth to TYC the sentencing is determined by the court as well. For the most part juveniles sent to TYC are given an indeterminate sentence, which means the juveniles are not given a specific number of years they will be in TYC. For those not given indeterminate sentences they are given specific sentences on how much time they must serve at TYC, these are called determinate sentences. Approximately 7% of all the juvenile offenders sent to TYC have received determinate sentences. Determinate sentences are longer then indeterminate sentences and are typically given to juveniles who have committed serious crimes. They can be sentenced up to 40 years for offenses specified in section 54.04(d)(3) or 54.05(f) of the Family Code. A juvenile with a determinate sentence will eventually transfer to the adult system of corrections which will be the Texas Department of Criminal Justice or TDCJ but this will only happen if he or she was unable to complete their sentence before they turned 19 years of age. If the juvenile still has a portion of their sentence not yet served...
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