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Indeterminate & Structured Sentencing

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To me Indeterminate Sentencing is a very degraded and/or very disturbed type of sentencing. In this sentencing a legislature is the one who has say as to what the terms will be for the crime that has been committed and a judge gets the decision as to what the sentence will be for the offender. As I look at this information I feel that the judge should have a say in what the sentence will be, but not have all the power as to what it will be.

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A Parole Board gets to determine as to what the amount of time is that the offender will spend in prison for the crime he or she has committed. In this type of sentencing, one of the guidelines is that when determining the sentence it should meet all of the needs of the offender. Another is the Good Time Laws, which reduces his or her sentence if they have had good behavior while he or she has served time in prison.

For Example, an offender might have received a sentence of a minimum of 1 year and a maximum of 20 years, but the exact number of years to be served would be determined by the prisoner’s progress toward rehabilitation (CJ 2010 Textbook Pg 140). This type of sentencing also gave not just the judges power, but also gave the prison authorities extensive power. This would mean that in reality it would not be the judge to determine the term of the sentence but it would be in fact the prison authorities that determined the term of the sentence.

Prison Authorities could in fact with reason exercise this power with little or no supervision. A Pro of Indeterminate Sentencing if that it allows for discretion to adjust the length of the sentence to fit the individual circumstances (CJ 2010 Textbook Pg. 139). A Con is that it can result in intentional and unintentional discrimination sentences from judge to judge that may vary so much as to appear as unfair (CJ 2010 Textbook Pg. 139). In this type of sentencing the judge has the greatest power to decide what the sentence will be for the offender.

I believe that beings that the judges have no sentencing guidelines, I think they really should in this type of sentencing because somewhere out there, there is that one judge that may dislike the crime that was committed or dislike that person just for committing that crime, that they will give them a longer sentence then they really deserve and I feel that’s really unfair to the offender. Thus trying to make the wrongs into rights in this sentencing, federal legislation adopted Structured Sentencing models which include the following:

Determinate Sentencing, Mandatory Sentencing, Mandatory Habitual Offender Laws, Sentencing Guidelines, and Presumptive Sentencing. Structured Sentencing to me is much better then Indeterminate Sentencing only because it has sentencing guidelines, which means that the judges must follow these rules and give the right sentences and the right amount of years or months to that offender for the crime he or she committed. I also believe that if the judges do not follow these sentencing guidelines then they too should be punished.

In Determinate Sentencing, a judge is the one who decides how long a sentence will be between the ranges of 18-24 months. His or her sentence could be reduced if it was his or her first offense or if they are a youthful offender and it could also be increased if there are any aggravating factors. Legislation is the one who gives the authorization for the range of incarceration set by the judge. A Pro of Determinate Sentencing is that it strives to ensure that all offenders receive an equal sentence for the same crime but still allows the judge leeway for individual circumstances (CJ 2010 Textbook Pg. 39). A Con of this type of sentencing if that often the range of the sentence is not based on the research regarding the effectiveness and aproachness of the sentence range (CJ 2010 Textbook Pg. 139). Mandatory Sentencing is where the legislation Is the one who provides a fixed sentence for the offenders who are found guilty of that crime and that the judge has no discretion in the sentencing what so ever. The types of crimes that are usually used in this type of sentencing are crimes that were committed with firearms or drugs.

A pro of Mandatory Sentencing is that it guarantees the defendants will not receive a light sentence at the judge’s discretion (CJ 2010 Textbook Pg. 139). A Con of this type of Sentencing is that it provides no discretion for individual circumstances, offenders who may have benefited from diversion, counseling, or probation will be sentenced to imprisonment (CJ 2010 Textbook Pg. 139). Mandatory Habitual Offenders Law is that legislation gives a specific time of incarceration on a finding of guiltiness, and the judge has no discretion to alter the sentence.

However this type of sentencing can only be applied to repeat offenders. A Pro of Mandatory Habitual Offenders Law is that it provides the public with a sense of public safety that dangerous offenders will have a long prison sentence (CJ 2010 Textbook Pg. 139). A Con of this type of sentencing is that it can be triggered by minor offenses and when applied to youthful offenders can result in long sentences which can be very expensive with little impact on rehabilitation or release of difference (CJ 2010 Textbook Pg. 39). Presumptive Sentencing is that federal legislation and the Sentencing Guidelines provide specific guidelines based on the primary offense and then they can be increased or decreased by the presence of mitigating or aggravating factors. A Pro of Presumptive Sentencing is that the goal of Presumptive Sentencing is to provide fair and unbiased sentences (CJ 2010 Textbook Pg. 139). A con of this type of sentencing is that the judge has little discretion based on individual circumstances, US.

Supreme Court rulings declared the use of the federal sentencing guidelines unconstitutional, sentencing guidelines are only constitutional when considered advisory for the judge. One question I am asked is if I think two criminals who committed the same crime should receive different sentences? Why or why not? I don’t think that they should receive different sentences because they committed the same crime, I mean they may had committed that crime in different ways but they still committed that same crime. I think that they should receive the same sentence and the same amount of time spent in prison for the crime they committed.

Cite this Indeterminate & Structured Sentencing

Indeterminate & Structured Sentencing. (2017, Mar 20). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/indeterminate-structured-sentencing/

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