Criminal sentences may involve one or more different elements, including incarceration prison, jail, probation, restitution victim compensation, and community service.
The below assignment has been written by another student. Please read it very carefully and reply to it by providing 200 words, apa format, at least 2 or 3 citations in addition to course textbook Schmalleger, F. (2011). Criminal justice today: An introductory text for the 21th Century (11th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Your work should be original work. Thanks (penny) Sentencing is the final step of judicial involvement in the justice system and, in many respects, it is the most important and difficult one. Its importance lies in the obvious impact on the offender, the victim, families and the community. Its difficulty lies in the necessity of balancing many factors, including the human factors and the protection of society (Pelaez, 2011). Criminal sentences may involve one or more different elements, including incarceration prison, jail, probation, restitution victim compensation, and community service. Some state laws require the judges to impose what are called determinate prison sentences (Pelaez, 2011). A determinate sentence is a fixed-term sentence pronounced by a judge. For example, a defendant sentenced to 30 days in county jail or five years in state prison has received a determinate sentence. Other state laws require judges to give indeterminate sentences. Indeterminate sentences are those in which the legislature sets a minimum and or maximum time of incarceration but leaves the decision as to when to release an inmate to prison officials (Spaho, 2013). As a general rule, indeterminate sentences are only imposed on people who are sentenced to state prison after being convicted of a felony. Sometimes a defendant’s prison sentence is suspended. A suspended sentence is jail or prison time that is put on hold if the defendant complies with certain other obligations, for example, the conditions of probation or the completion of a drug treatment program. Under a suspended sentence, if the prosecution or probation department can convince a judge that the defendant violated the condition that led to the sentence being suspended in the first place, the judge has authority to order the defendant to serve the original sentence (Spaho, 2013). The probationer is not entitled to a full-blown trial when the question is only whether the defendant violated probation, though the prosecution can choose to also file charges on the incident. Offenders who are put on probation are typically required to adhere to a number of conditions of probation; including obey all laws; even petty laws like jaywalking have been known to land a probationer back in jail, abide by any court orders, such as an order to pay a fine or restitution and report regularly to the probation officer. There are many different types of alternative sentences, which can include fairly innovative punishments. Offenders have been required to, for example install breathalyzer devices in their cars so that their cars will not start unless the offender has clean breath, give lectures or teach classes about the dangers of criminal behavior, attend lectures given by crime victims, complete a drug or alcohol treatment program, do weekend jail time, or stay at home under house arrest (Spaho, 2013). Some cases can be diverted out of the criminal justice system. Criminal charges are normally dropped when a defendant successfully completes a diversion program. Diversion gives defendants a chance to escape the stigma of a criminal conviction. Defendants whose cases are diverted typically have to participate in a treatment or rehabilitation program (Pelaez, 2011). Diversion programs are most often available to defendants charged with misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies involving drugs or alcohol. In some jurisdictions, diversion may be available to defendants charged with domestic violence, child abuse or neglect, traffic-related offenses, or even writing bad checks (Pelaez, 2011). Prosecutors sometimes voluntarily offer diversion to defendants who are clearly eligible under a community’s guidelines. Defense counsel may also suggest diversion to prosecutors, sometimes even before formal charges are filed. Some sentences are design to not necessarily to punish but to correct and deter the crime. In offering other alternative solutions this will help cut the cost, prison crime, and prison numbers. Also an important fact is that there are some innocent people in prison today. There was a case just recently on TV of a man that was on death row and had been in prison for over thirty years for killing two people. With the moderation of today’s technology being more advance the evidence showed that the bullets did not come from the defendant’s gun. Therefore this man has lost over thirty years of his life that he can never regain. Criminal justice system must look for alternative and innovative sentencing options so that no innocent person is sentenced to death. Policymakers are becoming increasingly aware of the research-backed strategies for community corrections as better ways to identify which offenders’ need a prison cell and which can be safely handled in the community, new technologies to monitor their whereabouts and behavior, and more effective supervision and treatment programs to help them stay on the straight and narrow. Taken together, these trends are encouraging policymakers to diversify their states array of criminal sanctions with options for low-risk offenders that save tax dollars but still hold offenders accountable for their actions Spaho, 2013). We have all sin and come short of his word; one thing that we could do better is read the Bible and live by it. Everything you need is in the Bible. Hebrews 13:3 reads, “Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body” (KJV).
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