Chapter 3 Notes
Chapter 3 Notes CJ 270
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Michela Spicer on Friday September 2, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to CJ 270 at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa taught by Patrick Halliday in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 10 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Corrections in Criminal Justice at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa.
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Date Created: 09/02/16
Chapter 3: Sentencing: To Punish or to Reform? Objectives: 1. Describe sentencing philosophy and identify the central purpose of criminal punishment The philosophy underlying criminal sentencing is that people must be held accountable for their actions and the harm they cause. Western society has a long tradition of sentencing criminal offenders to some form of punishment. Many social scientists suggest that the central purpose of criminal punishment is to maintain social order. 2. Name the seven goals of criminal sentencing Revenge Retribution Just Deserts Deterrence Incapacitation Rehabilitation or reformation Restoration 3. List and explain the sentencing options in general use today Sentencing options available are fines and other monetary sanctions, probation, alternative or intermediate sentences, incarceration, and capital punishment. 4. Explain what a model of criminal sentencing is and identify models in use today Sentencing models vary widely among the jurisdictions in the United States. These models include indeterminate sentences, determinate sentences, voluntary or advisory sentencing guidelines, presumptive sentencing guidelines, and mandatory minimum sentencing. 5. Describe three-strikes laws and their impact on the correctional system Recent laws have increased penalties for repeated offenders of violent crimes. The rationale for three-strikes laws is simple: offenders convicted repeatedly of serious offenses should be removed from society for long periods of time. Many three-strikes laws require a life sentence for the third violent felony conviction. People who analyzed the three-strikes laws predicted that courts would be overwhelmed, as more defendants, acing enhanced penalties, demand jury trials. Added time would cause the populations of jails to skyrocket. 6. Identify and explain some major issues related to fair sentencing Fair-sentencing advocates, however, suggest that any truly fair sentencing scheme must incorporate fairness for both victims and offenders. Issues related to fairness in sentencing are proportionality, equity, social debt, and truth in sentencing. Key Terms Sentencing: the imposition of a criminal sanction by a sentencing authority, such as a judge Sentence: the penalty a court imposes on a person convicted of a crime Social order: the smooth functioning of social institutions, the existence of positive and productive relations among individual members of society, and the orderly functioning of society as a whole Revenge: punishment as vengeance; an emotional response to real or imagined injury or insult Retribution: a sentencing goal that involves retaliation against a criminal perpetrator Just deserts: punishment deserved. A just deserts perspective on criminal sentencing holds that criminal offenders are morally blameworthy and are therefore deserving of punishment Deterrence: the discouragement or prevention of crimes through the fear of punishment Specific deterrence: the deterrence of the individual being punished from additional crimes General deterrence: the use of the example of individual punishment to dissuade others from committing crimes Pleasure-pain principle: the idea that actions are motivated primarily by a desire to experience pleasure and avoid pain Incapacitation: the use of imprisonment or other means to reduce an offender’s capability to commit future offenses Correctional econometrics: the study of the cost-effectiveness of various correctional programs and related reductions in the incidence of crime Rehabilitation (also reformation): the changing of criminal lifestyles into law-abiding ones by “correcting” the behavior of offenders through treatment, education, and training Reintegration: the process of making the offender a productive member of the community Restoration: the process of returning to their previous condition all those involved in or affected by crime- including victims, offenders, and society Restorative justice: a systematic response to wrongdoing that emphasizes healing the wounds of victims, offenders, and communities caused or revealed by crime Victim-impact statement: a description of the harm and suffering that a crime has caused victims and survivors Restitution: payments made by a criminal offender to his or her victim (or to the court, which then turns them over to the victim) as compensation for the harm caused by the offense Mandatory sentences: those that are required by law under certain circumstances- such as conviction of a specified crime or of a series of offenses of a specified type Presentence report (PSR): a report prepared by the probation department of a court that provides a social and personal history as well as an evaluation of a defendant as an aid to the court in determining a sentence Consecutive sentences: sentences served one after the other Concurrent sentences: sentences served together Model of criminal sentencing: a strategy or system for imposing criminal sanctions Flat sentences: those that specify a given amount of time to be served in custody and allow little or no variation from the time specified Indeterminate sentence: a sentence in which a judge specifies a maximum length and a minimum length, and an administrative agency, generally a parole board, determines the actual time of release Good time: the number of days or months prison authorities deduct from a sentence for good behavior and for other reasons Determinate sentence (also fixed sentence): a sentence of a fixed term of incarceration, which can be reduced by good time Sentencing commission: a group assigned to create a schedule of sentences that reflect the gravity of the offenses committed and the prior record of the criminal offender Sentencing enhancements: legislatively approved provisions that mandate longer prison terms for specific criminal offenses committed under certain circumstances (such as a murder committed because of the victim’s race or a drug sale near a school) or because of an offender’s past criminal record Mandatory minimum sentencing: the imposition of sentences required by statute for those convicted of a particular crime or a particular crime with special circumstances, such as robbery with a firearm or selling drugs to a minor within 1,000 feet of a school, or for those with a particular type of criminal history Habitual offender statute: a law that (1) allows a person’s criminal history to be considered at sentencing or (2) makes it possible for a person convicted of a given offense and previously convicted of another specified offense to receive a more severe penalty than that for the current offense alone Fair sentencing: sentencing practices that incorporate fairness for both victims and offenders. Fairness is said to be achieved by implementing principles of proportionality, equity, social debt, and truth in sentencing Proportionality: the sentencing principle that the severity of punishment should match the seriousness of the crime for which the sentence is imposed Equity: the sentencing principle that similar crimes and similar criminals should be treated alike Social debt: the sentencing principle that the severity of punishment should take into account the offender’s prior criminal behavior Truth in sentencing (TIS): the sentencing principle that requires an offender to serve a substantial portion of the sentence and reduces the discrepancy between the sentence imposed and actual time spent in prison