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Paper Topic:

determinate vs. indeterminate sentencing

Impacts of Determinate and Indeterminate Sentence

It is a fact . Crimes are consistently disrupting public peace and continuously posing threats to life and property . Since the early decades , different states have prompted to adopt measures that would reduce , if not correctional strategies , programs , policies and interventions were adopted , including the employment of indeterminate and determinate sentencing measures . However , the question is how these measures vary from each other and how each affects the criminal justice system as a whole

Indeterminate sentence is defined as a method that left sentencing to

the discretion of the judge and allowed the judge to fashion a sentence according to the rehabilitative needs of the criminal defendant HYPERLINK "http /law .jrank .org /pages /9452 /Probation .html http /law .jrank .org /pages /9452 /Probation .html ) On the other hand determinate sentence refers to confinement for a fixed or minimum period that is specified by statute . It has a set of sentencing guidelines , mandatory minimum sentences , and enhanced sentences for certain crimes ( HYPERLINK "http /law .jrank .org /pages /6116 /Determinate-Sentence .html http /law .jrank .org /pages /6116 /Determinate-Sentence .html

In general , sentencing has four major goals : retribution rehabilitation , deterrence and incapacitation . With retribution is the concept that criminal behavior are bound to be punished incapacitation , that of detaining offenders so they may be unable to commit crimes deterrence , that of emphasizing the onerousness of punishment so repugnant that neither the punished offender or others will commit the crime , and rehabilitation , that of changing the offenders so they may no longer commit crimes . Indeterminate sentence for this matter focuses on the last goal that is , rehabilitating the offender so that they may no longer commit the crime while determinate sentence is focused on deterring crimes ( MacKenzie , 2006

Much has changed in the philosophy and sentencing and correctional practices in the past thirty years . For the first few decades of the twentieth century , much emphasis was had on the purpose of rehabilitation in sentencing and corrections . Eventually , it moved to a crime control paradigm and focused on deterring crimes and incapacitating the offenders . Under the indeterminate sentence model legislatures set maximum authorized sentences judges sentenced offenders to imprisonment , probation and fines and set maximum durations correctional officials had power over granting good time earned time and forloughs and parole boards set release dates (MacKenzie , 2006 . With indeterminate sentencing , the idea was individualization of sentences coupled with rehabilitation focusing on community treatment , diversion , reintegration , education and employment programs for the offenders

However , owing to a number of studies refuting the effectiveness of rehabilitation , indeterminate sentencing was attacked on the ground that it became a means of coddling criminals . The belief is that rehabilitation should be voluntary and not coerced . Thus , the birth of flat sentencing or determinate model of sentencing . Under this model specific crimes would correspond to specific and clearly identified sentence length . Also , parole releases were eliminated and sentence lengths are determined specifically and not merely providing a broad minimum or maximum periods as established by guidelines...

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