Criminal Sentencing

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L. Elise Bowling Criminal Sentencing CRJ 301 Juvenile Justice Timothy Koester September 20, 2010 Criminal Sentencing Over the years, there has been great debate over the purpose of sentencing criminals, but it generally all boils down to the importance of deterrence, incapacitation, rehabilitation, and retribution. All four plays an important role in sentencing, and each vary on a case-by-case basis. As far as the purpose of criminal sentencing goes, it is imperative that all courts are on the same page and strive to achieve the same outcome. Due to the ever-changing society we live in, there has always been controversy as to what the right objective was for the criminal when it comes to punishment. For long time rehabilitation was the focus in criminal sentencing, but that proved to fail due to the increase of recidivism. Now it seems that the main focus of criminal sentencing is incapacitation, which hopefully leads to deterrence, rehabilitation, or retribution. It is clear that information on the outcomes of sentences and their cost must play a crucial role in deciding the relative importance of deterrence, incapacitation, rehabilitation, and retribution (Justice). When the criminal court system focuses on incapacitation for the offender, it does so for many reasons. There are many that feel future crime can be prevented if the criminal is locked up and physically restrained. One aspect of this is the approach to lock them up and throw away the key. I do not believe this approach will solve a criminal’s behavior. I think incapacitation should focus on the future of the offender, and make it a goal to prevent future crimes instead of punishing for past crimes. Also, while the offender is incarcerated the focus should be on the personal characteristics they portray. Along with incapacitation, there is the…...

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