The Effects of Punishment and Sentencing

Topics: Crime, Death Penalty, Prison Pages: 2 (794 words) Published: October 16, 2008
The effects of punishment and sentencing

The four fundamental philosophies surrounding the purpose of sentencing are; retribution, this philosophy is the belief that those who commit criminal acts should be punished according to the seriousness of the crime and that no other circumstances are considered, deterrence, this strategy is the thought that if the punishment given is severe enough that it will stop the potential criminal from committing the crime or to be a repeat offender. Incapacitate is the third philosophy that is a belief that if the criminal is detained for a crime, thereby being separated from the community reduces the criminal activity and once released will not be as likely to be a repeat offender. Rehabilitation is the fourth and final philosophy that surrounds the purpose of sentencing, some believe that society is best served when those who break the law are not simply punished but are provided with resources needed to eliminate the need or want to engage in criminal behavior activity. The factors that go into determining sentencing are broke into three steps. The Legislature passes sentencing Laws; this specifies the terms of indeterminate sentencing. An Indeterminate term of incarceration is in which a judge determines the minimum and maximum terms of imprisonment. Only a jury can hand down the decision of the death penalty. When the minimum term is reached the prisoner becomes eligible to be paroled. Then there is determinate sentencing, this is a period of incarceration that is fixed by a sentencing authority and cannot be reduced by judges or other corrections officials. A factor that can change incarceration time is that of “good time”, this is when a reduction in time served by a prisoner is based on good behavior and other positive actions. This is said to promote discipline and reduce overcrowding. However, in murder convictions and other serious crimes an inmate must complete at least 85% of his or her sentence and no time is...
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