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Criminal Justice Process: Sentencing and Corrections 1. Sentencing Options 2. Purposes of Punishment 3. Parole 4. Capital Punishment 5. Corrections.

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Presentation on theme: "Criminal Justice Process: Sentencing and Corrections 1. Sentencing Options 2. Purposes of Punishment 3. Parole 4. Capital Punishment 5. Corrections."— Presentation transcript:

1 Criminal Justice Process: Sentencing and Corrections 1. Sentencing Options 2. Purposes of Punishment 3. Parole 4. Capital Punishment 5. Corrections

2 Sentencing Options 1. Suspended Sentence: sentence given but does not have to be served at the time it is imposed. May be waived if defendant meets requirements or reimposed if they do not 2. Probation: released under supervision of a probation officer after agreeing to meet provisions like keeping a job, staying drug free 3. Home Confinement: sentenced to serve their term at home. Defendant is only allowed to leave home to go to work, school, etc. Usually required to wear monitoring devise 4. Fine: an amount of money set by the court 5. Restitution: pay to make up for whatever loss or injury was caused to the victim 6. Work Release: allowed to work in the community but must return to prison at night or on weekends 7. Imprisonment: must serve a specified time in jail or prison 8. Death Penalty: is sentenced to die for his/her crime

3 Sentencing Options (continued) The Judge has many things to consider when deciding the sentence A “Presentence Report” will be prepared by the justice department for the judge to give them information to help them decide punishment. It might include What is in the best interest of society What is in the best interest of the convicted person What is in the best interest of the victim/victim’s family What is the convicted person’s past record The harm to the victim (how brutal was the crime) Sentencing requirements/recommendations Sentencing Guidelines: most states have written sentencing guidelines to make sure the judge cannot abuse the power of sentencing Most crimes given a range of sentencing. (IE- 2 nd Degree Murder = 15 years to life in prison) The Judge can place punishment anywhere in that range

4 Purposes of Punishment Retribution: to punish the criminal Deterrence: to discourage that criminal from committing another crime or others from committing that crime Rehabilitation: help convicted persons change their behavior so they can lead useful and productive lives after their release Incapacitation: to physically remove the convicted person from society. The community is protected from this person by the separation

5 Parole Parole is the release of a convicted person from prison before his/her sentence has been served In some states, a prisoner may become eligible for parole after they have served the minimum of their sentence In other states, a prisoner may become eligible for parole automatically after serving a percentage of their sentence In a few states, parole is not an option Eligibility for parole is a privilege not a right. Inmates must behave themselves in prison. They must go before a parole board an justify why they deserve to be paroled Critics say it lets criminals off easy Supporters say it shows compassion if the inmate is determined to show they have been rehabilitated

6 Capital Punishment (AKA Death Penalty) Given only in the most serious of crimes Capital Punishment an option in 37 states (lethal injection – state option) Supreme Court rulings Furman v. Georgia – Death Penalty not applied fairly. Cannot be used unless states can prove the use is not unfair 1976 – Death Penalty does not violate the 8 th Amendment 1977 – Death Penalty too severe for the crime of rape, even of a child 2007 – Death Penalty on hold until they ruled if lethal injection violated 8 th Amendment 2008 – Lethal Injection ruled to NOT violate 8 th Amendment Most Capital cases in 2 stages Trial – Guilty or Innocence determined Sentencing – Whether the convicted person should receive the death penalty  Aggravating Circumstance: factors that suggest the defendant deserves a more severe punishment  Mitigating Circumstance: factors that suggest the defendant deserves a less sever punishment (ex – abused as a child by the victim of the crime)

7 Capital Punishment (continued) Critics of the Death Penalty argue many things 1. Violates the 8 th Amendment (applied unfairly) 2. Moral and Religious objections 3. Does Not deter crime 4. There have been wrongful convictions Proponents argue many things 1. Founding Fathers did not intend to prohibit capital punishment 2. Threat of death DOES deter crime 3. It should be a state decision not a federal one 4. It is a just punishment for those who have committed the most serious crimes

8 When a person is convicted of a crime, state and federal governments have the right to place the offender in the corrections system. Jail run by city and county governments Used to detain people awaiting trial Used to hold mental patients, drug addicts, alcoholics, juvenile offenders, and felons on a temporary basis Hold people convicted of less serious crimes (misdemeanors) Prisons Operated by Federal or State governments Used to incarcerate people convicted of more serious crimes (felonies)

9 Corrections (continued) Life Behind Bars Life controlled by rules (when to get up, when to eat, when to go to bed) Mail and phone calls are screened and monitored Access to radio/TV/Internet/books is controlled Visitation is limited Inmates subject to surveillance and searches at any time Some inmates work for very little pay Many spend most of the day locked in their cells Prisoners do have rights though. If they believe their treatment is too harsh, they can challenge in court (free from cruel and unusual punishment, freedom of religion, right to due process, right to medical treatment) Prison Policy Our country is currently on a “get tough on crime” kick (crime rates have dropped in that time frame as well) US rate of incarceration has dramatically increased over the past 2 decades Mandatory sentencing (especially in drug related cases) have grown the prison population Cost and capacity have impacted state and federal governments ($30,000 per inmate per year) Critics believe money could be better spend on treatment and prevention programs Reentering Society More than 650,000 adult offender reenter society each year 3 phase program to help the offender be successful in staying out of prison 1-in prison-providing education, mental health services, substance abuse treatment, job training 2-transition back into community: where to live, how to find a job, etc 3-supervision of the justice system: keeping track, finding help for the parolee


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