Sentencing: Prison and Considerable Discretion

Sentencing: Prison and Considerable Discretion

Sentencing CJA 234 Sentencing is directly tied to punishment and we see that the state and federal government agree on five objectives that a punishment is intended to bring in an offender. The five objectives are incapacitation, deterrence, restitution, retribution, rehabilitation, depending on the discretion of the Judge and the circumstances surround how the crime was committed the sentence will be amid at accomplishing one of these. Here is how the five objectives work: 1.

Incapacitation: is designed to remove the offender from society thus removing the opportunity to commit crimes or arm, or execution of the offender for extremely gross and horrific crimes. 2. Deterrence: as other individuals are punished and sentenced to fines and incarceration for crimes, others will be deterred from committing those crimes or similar ones. 3. Restitution: This focuses on the fact that an offender has wronged the victim and must pay for his action either in some sort of incarceration sentence or service to the community.

In civil case this means the violator will pay a court decided amount to the victim. 4. Retribution: This is the way of the old world and best displayed in the Hammurabi’s Code. This is an eye for an eye; an offender should be punished for what he did whether that is with his life or with hard labor. 5. Rehabilitation: This is most common in our prisons today, attempting to treat the offender by either giving them skills to be productive citizens or treating an emotional aliment. The goal for this is to treat and release a productive citizen back to society.

Affects of Sentencing on Corrections Sentencing directly affects the entire correctional system regardless if it state or federal, this is due to the fact that sentences given to guilty offenders are served in orrectional institutions or under the supervision of correctional agencies. If sentencing is lenient then you will see that correction system will have a lower number of inmates and clients, yet when the sentencing is harasser you will see huge increases in prison population and with the clients in correctional that we see either at the state or federal level will directly lead to more offenders serving longer or mandatory sentences.

As best described in our reading “The first is the Judicial form of sentencing, in which Judges are granted considerable discretion in sentencing decisions. Under this form, penal codes create broad ranges of llowable sentences for each crime; allow Judges to decide whether to grant a sentence of probation or incarceration; and, if sending the offender to prison, define a broad range of the length of time to be served. The second is the administrative form of sentencing, which grants considerable discretion to officials of the executive branch of government.

This includes prison officials in the award of good time and parole board members in determining when inmates will be released. More recently, the legislative form of sentencing has come to dominate sentencing across many states and the federal government. This approach grants most of the discretion to the legislative branch of government; legislative bodies create penal codes with determinate sentences and little (or no) discretion available to Judges. Legislative forms of sentencing include mandatory minimum sentences, presumptive sentencing, and the use of sentencing guidelines. “(Seiter 2011).

The discretion giving to either Judges or legislative branch on sentencing has been seen in recent years as we all know the over population in California prisons has gain the attention of the federal government. Due to tough on repeat offender legislation that had been assed we see that sentencing minimums were set higher for repeat offenders causing prison population to explode, this is a vivid example of how sentencing affects prisons overall. Sentencing Models There are many thoughts on how sentencing should and should not be done and regulated, so we see that there are many models individuals hold to.

The most common models are determinate and indeterminate sentencing which are the ones widely used by both state and federal courts. “Indeterminate sentences blend the decision by the sentencing Judge and a later decision by a release authority to etermine the actual time served. At the time of sentencing, Judges sentence offenders to indeterminate sentences, with a minimum and maximum amount of time to be served (for example, two to five years or ten to twenty years).

After serving the minimum term, offenders are eligible to be released and their cases are reviewed by a parole board… Determinate sentences are sentences of fixed terms. Offenders are eligible for release following the completion of the time to be served (for example, five years). Determinate sentences are not reviewed by anybody and offenders are not subject to release by parole boards. When offenders complete their sentence terms, they are released. Determinate sentences were used throughout the eighteenth century in the United States.

Sentencing Judges were believed to have the most informed knowledge of offenders and the amount of time needed to punish them and deter them from further crimes. Therefore, Judges were granted considerable discretion in determining the prescribed sentence. ” (Seiter 2011). As we see in this portion from the reading that indeterminate sentence give a blend of discretion both to the Judge and rather the board that will review an offender for elease, while determinate sentences offer no such wiggle room and are sentences that must be served in full.

The model that I feel is most appropriate is the deliberate act of individual knowingly violating the law and cause harm or loss of freedom to another individual. I feel that if criminals and offenders knew that they would be sentenced quickly and have to serve a hard sentence in full they would decide not to commit the crime. I feel this is because career criminals have been in and out of the system and they know that if they do certain things when an ndeterminate model is used they can get released earlier if that simple go along or pretend to be successful in programs while in prison.

This has breed a portion of prison culture in the fact that offenders commit crime with the foreknowledge that if they play along and behave in prison they will only serve a fraction of the sentence that is given to them. The end goal of our prison should be to have a recidivism rate of zero percent and to find an effective way of accomplishing this and I strongly feel that if a determinate model is fully enforced we can move forward towards that goal.