Monday, September 16, 2019

Truth in Sentencing

Truth-in-sentencing debate Learning Team B CJA/204 November 26, 2012 Deana Bohenek Truth-In-Sentencing Debate Opening Argument Truth-in-sentencing laws do not deter crime. The federal truth-in-sentencing law guarantees that certain violent offenders will serve at least 85% of their sentence  (Schmalleger, 2012). However, if the offender acts accordingly in prison, he or she can attain parole for good behavior. What about the victims? Victims do not want to hear this. If an offender is sentenced for 30 years, the victim wants justice and wants to see the full 30 years served.They do not want to see the offender getting released after 25 years. The truth-in-sentencing laws are the judges’ guideline when choosing the sentence of the offender. The law is a structured guideline for sentencing the offenders. However, the judge can deviate from the guidelines if there are mitigating and aggravating circumstances. Look at plea bargaining,  this is still a possibility even though t here are truth-in-sentencing laws in place. The offender knows that if they get caught, they can plea bargain for a lesser sentence and be back out on the streets sooner.Let me say it again, truth-in-sentencing laws do not deter crime. The offenders know they will get out of prison soon through a plea bargain or parole. They know they can avoid serving the full sentence that the judge imposed on him or her. The only way to deter crime and reduce recidivism is to abolish the possibility of parole and ensure that the sentence the judge renders is carried out to full-term. Obviously, to take away the option for parole would mean that the prison populations would increase. Well, we should take the funds left over from overhead to run the parole division and build more prisons to house these offenders.The longer we keep them off the streets, the safer society will be. Rebuttal Argument Each state has to look at the amount of money being spent to house each inmate they have in custody. Be cause the Truth-In Sentencing Law wants to keep the offender behind bars until they complete their entire sentence/term in prison no matter what the costs are to the public. Meaning, everyone’s hard earned income  (taxes) are used to keep them in their present place of occupancy. This law depletes the services we receive from our state revenues.We don’t have much say in the budget spending but we do see the increase in taxes used for each state program. I have to disagree with the statement made â€Å"The offenders know they will get out of prison sooner through a plea bargain or parole. †Ã‚   Not all offenders before or during their trial will know the outcome of sentencing. Many do not have the option for plea bargaining because plea bargaining depends on the severity of the crime committed. Instead, if the case went directly to trial, (this includes judge and jury) the accused might have a chance of plea bargaining.No plea bargaining makes the offender elig ible for a parole based on his or her behavior during incarceration and no plea bargaining being offered. But if society had no parole system, then the correctional system will have to face overcrowding in the institutions. The lack of Rehabilitation for said prisoner would be non-effective because there would be no programs such as work-time credit or good-time credit, which is the main reason why early release would benefit them. With those programs the time served by offenders would be less and would allow the offenders to enter back into society.The fear of re-entry of said offenders are the defense for keeping them locked up. These programs should be used for offenders that have this as a first offense on their record and have shown they can be productive in today’s society. Not all inmates are repeat offenders some are just non-violent offenses but carry a great penalty. When I was younger it was a big deal to go to jail because it showed most people that they were a â €Å"badass†, a badge of honor, and should be feared. In my eyes it was a waste of mind, body, and productive individual. Those same individuals found when they came out ithout a trade they were worthless and the only way to survive was crime and more time in jail. In Illinois, Governor Pat Quinn on October 2, 2012 has reinstated the program for â€Å"Good-time† releases,  a way to bring down the overcrowding in his state and federal prison system. Opening Argument Truth-in-Sentencing laws deter crime because they ensure that offenders are in prison for at least 85% of their sentence. Therefore, the convicted offenders stay in prison for longer periods and not able to commit additional crimes and endanger the member of society.TIS laws are the assurance of longer prison terms as punishment and serve as an effective deterrent from criminal actions to the serving offender and others who may be considering criminal acts. The laws provide the ability for the criminal just ice system to operate more effectively by lowering violent crimes as well punishing violent criminals. According  to the publication from  University  of Alabama at Birmingham (2005) citing data from Bureau of Justice Statistics, in the decade following the passage and implementation of the truth-in-sentencing laws in 1994, the arrests for violent crimes were reduced by 16% by the year of 2005.The TIS laws also limit some of the discretion of the judges and parole boards with regard to release of the offenders prematurely and being â€Å"too soft† on crime, thus eliminating the many possibilities for the offenders getting away without receiving the well-deserved punishment. The Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report from January 1999 indicates that prior to the TIS laws violent offenders barely served half the length of their sentences. What kind of message did that send to the convicted or potential criminals?With the availability of TIS laws, criminal justice adm inistrators can build public confidence by ensuring that the just punishment is served to anyone breaking the law. In the article written by Joanna Shepherd published in the Journal of Law and Economics, she makes this statement: â€Å"Using a country-level data set, empirical results confirm that TIS laws deter violent offenders, increase the probability of arrest, and increase maximum imposed prison sentences. TIS laws decrease murders by 16%, aggravated assaults by 12%, robberies by 24%, rapes by 12%, and larcenies by 3%† (Shepherd,  2002,  p. 09). Today, more states are implementing the TIS laws and abolishing parole and indeterminate sentencing, demonstrating that the state legislature believes in this uniform application of justice processes and effectiveness of these laws in crime prevention. This information clearly shows that TIS laws are very effective in deterring crime by ensuring the stern and just punishment for offenders and sending the clear message to pot ential criminals that criminal behavior will be punished by lengthy imprisonment. Rebuttal ArgumentWhat about crime being committed in prisons around the world? Are we just going to ignore that fact because victimization is still happening across the boards of federal and state prisons? According to  a writer of The  New Yorker, Adam Gopnik, darkly described America prisons as â€Å"the moral scandal of America life. Prison rape is so endemic- more than seventy thousand prisoners are raped each year. † That is routinely held out as a threat, part of punishment to be expected. † (Gopnik, 2012). The National inmate survey reported that â€Å"An estimated 4. 4% of prison inmates and 3. % of jail inmates reported experiencing one or more incidents of victimization by another inmate or facility staff since admission to the facility  (Beck & Harrison, 2010). The total federal and state population in 2010 was 1,605,127, while the total jail population in 2009 was 767,62 0. This implies that there were over 94,000 victims subject to multiple violations (Beck & Harrison, 2010). No I don't agree with the fact that offenders being incapacitated for longer periods of time don't commit another crime. For people who want to do so, they will commit crimes anyway, and largely at that.Especially, the incentive behind good time credit is to have offenders behave in prison. If you lock them up in less than ideal conditions with no incentive to behave appropriately while incarcerated, they will be a population difficulty to control because they have nothing to lose. Earning good time credit gives them an insight to behave well inside. As for truth-in sentencing laws, I don't know if I  would actually say it is a deterrent or at least how much of a deterrent it  is, but I think it is  important nonetheless. Prior to 2003, legislation allowed for automatic emission of every sentence imposed to be reduced by one third (Chong, 2008). If the offender was made eligible for parole, a portion of that sentence is served under supervision in the community to enable their reintegration  into the community when released (Chong, 2008). Legislation introduced in 2003 abolished the automatic remission provision, so the sentence  imposed would more truly reflect the time to be served. In its place, legislation required courts to adjust the sentence actually imposed by one third, to reflect the abolition of automatic remission (Chong, 2008).What the government has done is  replace  automatic remission with reduction of sentence (Chong, 2008). The more things change, the more they remain the same. Sentences are more or less duration  for the same type of offenses (Chong, 2008). Some say the money being used for these criminals sitting in  jail should be more valuable of utilizing for work  time credits and more programs  for educational, substance abuse, psychiatric help programs for these offenders before being released out into the world again.I think it will better prepare themselves rather than not knowing what to do and all they are use to is the  jail's way of life in which they will end up back  in having that kind of mind set. References Beck, A. J. , & Harrison, P. M. (2010, August). Sexual Victimization in Prisons and Jails Reported by Inmates, 2008-09. Bureau of Justice Statistics, Retrieved from http://bjs. ojp. usdoj. gov/content/pub/press/svpjri0809pr. cfm Chong, P. (2008, June 19). The Truth about ‘Truth in Sentencing'. WAtoday. Retrieved from http://blogs. watoday. com. u/theverdict/2008/06/the_truth_about. html Ditton, P. M. , & Wilson, D. J. (1999, January). Truth in Sentencing in State Prisons. Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report,  (NCJ 170032). Retrieved  from  http://bjsdata. ojp. usdoj. gov/content/pub/pdf/tssp. pdf Gopnik, A. (2012, January 30). The Caging of America. The New Yorker. Retrieved from http://www. newyorker. com/arts/critics/atlarge/2012/01/30/12030crat _atlarge_gopnik Schmalleger, F. (2012). Criminal Justice Today: An Introductory Text for the 21st Century, 11th ed. Upper Saddle River: NJ. Shepherd, J. M. (2002,

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