Intermediate Sanctions

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Intermediate Sanctions
Florence Thomas
Axia College of University of Phoenix

Intermediate sanctions are criminal sentences that fall between standard probation and incarceration. Intermediate sanctions can include house arrest, intensive probation (i.e., probation with more conditions beyond the basic conditions of standard probation), boot camps, electronic monitoring, and drug treatment programs. Intermediate sanctions serve a dual purpose in the criminal justice system. First, granting intermediate sanctions over incarceration helps reduce overcrowding and eases the burden on our nation's prison system. Second, it helps to reduce recidivism by targeting the behaviors of the defendants that led to the crime to begin with. For example, if a drug user is afforded the opportunity to attend drug treatment rather than prison and is successful. It is less likely that he or she will commit future crimes; like possessing narcotics, and even selling narcotics or participating in various theft offenses to support his or her drug habit. Intermediate sanctions can be an effective tool if used appropriately. Individuals who are interested in making positive changes in their lives can benefit from the additional support; in turn, society benefits from having potential threats to the health and safety of others transformed into productive citizens. Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult for judges to weed out the defendants who want to change and the defendants who are merely looking for a "get out of jail free" card. Someone may think that the offender believes the risk is worth the potential for reward, especially if judges reserve these intermediate sanctions for non-violent offenders who are less likely to injure others while out on release. After all, if they reoffend, defendants given the benefit of intermediate sanctions will most likely be facing a hefty jail sentence if they violate their probations, giving them an incentive to...
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