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The Courts


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The Courts

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The Courts

  1. 1. The CourtsCarla J. McCoyUnit 4 Discussion BoardMarch 1st 2009American InterContinental University  Some Options            Community Service replaces short term prison sentences as a punishment and was introduced into the penal system in the 1990s. Community Service is normally ordered when sentencing of up to eight months are imposed which can vary in time frames from 20 up to 200 hours of service. When comparing prison with community service and commuting imprisonment into community service, one day in prison equals that of one hour of community service. If by chance a community service order is violated, the courts are imposing new unconditional sentences of imprisonment. When reviewing the first few years that the legislative adoption of the new sanction took place, there were 3,500 community service orders that were imposed annually that replaced approximately 35% of prison sentences of up to eight months. The reduction of prisoners results between 400-500 prisoners which is 10-15% of the prison population. When comparing the two and reviewing the heightened amount of community service sentences it climbed to 4,000 annually, however prison sentencing fell from 10,000 to 6,000 annually. (Criminal Justice Handbook Series, 2007)            Another option is Fines which are influential and have reduced the annually imposed short term prison sentences. In review if you take a look at the year 1968  there were approximately 119,000 prison sentences of fewer than nine months, however; by the time 1976 came around that number had fallen to 19,000 which is a drastic change. When this happened fines rose to 490,000 from 360,000 and this enabled courts to hold the amount of prison sentences stable. (Criminal Justice Handbook Series, 2007)Why these methods Preferable            These methods are preferable because imprisonment should by no means be the automatic default sentence for failure to comply with requirements of sentencing. Instead a hearing should take place in order to determine what the cause of the failure was, plus prison overcrowding is a huge problem where there are so many prisoners that are serving sentences for petty or non-violent offences. Alternatives to imprisonment are also more effective at achieving important public safety objectives such as greater security for the population rather than imprisonment. Imprisonment has such a wide variety of serious disadvantages so using alternatives to imprisonment will help reduce prison populations. They are also preferable because there are specific categories in which offenders that are vulnerable to the negative impact of prisons such as children, women, drug related offenders, and the mentally ill might use and be more appropriate for these special groups. (Criminal Justice Handbook Series, 2007)Traditional Rationales for Punishment            Incarceration Alternatives fulfill traditional rationales for punishment in the criminal justice system because there is logical reasoning and fundamental reasons these tasks need to be performed. (The Missouri Bar, 2006) Almost everyone can agree that criminals are to only be punished for doing what is wrong. When we are growing up and are children ourselves we all learn various principles of conduct and we can’t avoid examining them as we mature. When we consider revenge and righteous indignation through a good example of what we need to do we might consider an option would be is to re habilitate the supposedly concepts of revenge. Of course there is nothing wrong with seeking revenge and it may be disastrous but an important role played by punishment is the channeling of the desire for revenge into paths not destructive of peace. In today’s time a desire for revenge and having a feeling of rightful indignation or outrage are left to be barbaric and uncivilized. A good question to ask is what sorts of punishments are acceptable? Of course imprisonment is one of the worst choices that can be made which is why alternatives to imprisonment need to be evident and available. A whole entire new set of punishments need to be acceptable and well considered which can eliminate bad attitudes towards police and other issues, as well as forming a Coventry in obtaining moral self confidence. (King, C., 1980) Rationales met through these types of PunishmentsThe Rationale met through the type of Punishment for Community service would be Targeted as an area of need and are to punish by restricting personal liberty and also forfeits them from having leisure time, Rehabilitating them according to their specific needs is another targeted area. The Rationale provides a deterrent to people in order for them to obtain the idea that being punished is something to fear which will result in the avoidance of criminal behavior. The rationale for the goal of rehabilitation would be in correcting behavior among criminals that caused them to commit the criminal action so when they are released they will refrain from engaging in the same type of behavior again. Normally they have to complete a certain amount of time or hours of community service and are given a time frame to do so. There are four goals of punishment which are deterrence, rehabilitation, retribution, and incapacitation. (Federal Corrections and Supervision Division, 2001) There is Controversy on whether Fines are considered a deterrence anymore, However when there are fines it makes the crime less attractive. Fines are designed to deter individuals from illegal behavior where they may face monetary criminal fines, monetary payments to government agencies or nonmonetary penalties. (Clifford, M., 2009)                     References Criminal Justice Handbook Series, (2007) Handbook of basic principles and promising practices On Alternatives to Imprisonment United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Vol. 07-80478, April 2007 ISBN-13: 978-92-1-148220-1 retrieved on March 1st, 2009 at King, C., (1980) A Rationale for Punishment the Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. IV, No. 2 (Spring 1980) retrieved on March 1st, 2009 at The Missouri Bar, (2006) Search and Seizure Civics Library of the Missouri Bar retrieved on March1st, 2009 at      (Clifford, M., 2009) Enforcement, Policy, and Social Responsibility retrieved on March 4th, 2009 at,M1Federal Corrections and Supervision Division, (2001) Community Service Court & Community retrieved on March 4th, 2009 at<br />