Sentencing is an important aspect in the criminal justice process. It is the punishment defendants receive when they are convicted of a crime. The punishment spectrum is wide and vast, ranging from probation to death. Punishment and sentencing present some of the most complex issues of the criminal justice system. There are four main philosophical reasons surrounding the purpose of sentencing; they are retribution, deterrence, incapacitation and rehabilitation. Retribution is the philosophy that a criminal’s punishment shall be determined on the severity of the crime he or she committed.
It should be noted that retribution is not the same thing as revenge and that the punishment does not satisfy the revenge theory to anyone who may have been a victim. The retribution philosophy also is inspired by the Old Testament, where it states “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. ” Deterrence philosophy has two parts to it, which are the general and specific deterrence. The Deterrence philosophy is based on the fact that a criminal will realize the punishment outweighs the crime that he or she is going to commit.
This philosophy hopes to prevent the criminal from going through with the criminal act.
The general deterrence works this way, if the punishment is seen to outweigh the crime then others will be deterred from committing the same crime. The specific deterrence is based on the theory that a criminal, once punished and released, will not want to commit another crime and receive the same punishment. The Incapacitation philosophy believes by incarcerating criminals, this takes away the criminals liberty by placing them in jail or prison; this will ultimately keep the criminal from committing further crimes among society and reduce further criminal opportunity.
Rehabilitation is another means of trying to reduce criminal activity. Rehabilitation will teach a person not to commit further criminal acts. This philosophy believes that the public is better served when a criminal is given certain resources that will help do away with any and all criminal behavior one may have. There are six forms of punishment they are, capital punishment, imprisonment, probation, fines, restitution and community service.
Capital punishment is a legal process where a person is put to death as punishment for a crime, they must be sever crimes such as aggravated murder, felony murder and contract killings. The relationship between sentencing and punishment in today’s courts is as follows. Individual state statutes typically specify the types and amounts of punishment for a given criminal offense, and sometimes even impose a specific penalty, life in prison without parole, for certain murders or a minimum penalty of a mandatory minimum prison sentence for less severe crimes.
State statues sometimes further specify sentencing that criminals are supposed to serve; however, since these are rarely specified the courts can insert their authority to interpret and apply sentencing requirements. This can range from maximum sentencing to the minimum that is set by statue. A judge can combined fines, restitution along with prison terms in any sentencing hearing. Sentencing is the final act of a judge in the criminal prosecution process. The sentence can generally involve a decree of imprisonment, a fine and/or other punishments against a defendant convicted of a crime.
Punishment is a penalty inflicted on an offender through judicial procedure. I can only think of one way to reduce recidivism, and that is to stop making prisons comfortable for the prisoners. They have everything needed to build a strong body and mind, workout equipment and overstocked library. With these two special privileges criminals do not fear prison life and when a prisoner leaves prison they do so with a college degree and a body that is strong. The prison system is building stronger and smarter criminals.
I say punish them hard enough, make their stay as unpleasant as possible. By doing these simple things you may change the criminal mind and they won’t come back and repeat the punishment. My final thought is this; crime and punishment go hand in hand. One cannot sentence a criminal to incarceration and then treat them as if they were staying at the Hilton. Punishment is supposed to be just that, a punishment. If the criminal is led to believe there will always be three squares and a cot, at no cost to you then the message the is presented, crime does pay.
Cite this Sentencing Criminals
Sentencing Criminals. (2016, Nov 14). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/sentencing-criminals/