Literature Review : Law On The Books '

855 WordsApr 14, 20164 Pages
Literature Review “Law on the Books” Repeat offenders are perhaps the most difficult offender population for the system to handle, and “protecting communities from these offenders may be the most emotionally and politically charged challenge for the criminal justice system” (Dickey & Hollenhorst, 1999). Though most states had statues targeting career criminals, policy makers and the public continued to push for harsher punishments for repeat offenders during the twentieth century (Brown & Jolivette, 2005). As a result, strict sentencing laws were enforced, such as, three strikes, that required a person convicted of a felony, that had a previous conviction of one or more felonies to receive a sentence enhancement (Brown & Jolivette, 2005). Supporters of three strikes legislation claimed that these laws could be utilized as a tool to control the crime problem, and was the only way to keep violent repeat offenders off of the streets (Brown & Jolivette, 2005). Essentially, three strikes laws were implemented as a means to effect crime in two ways. First, as a means of incapacitation, by extending sentences to remove repeat offenders from society for long periods of time to restrict their ability to commit crime (Dickey & Hollenhorst, 1999). Second, as a means of deterrence, by threatening longer sentences that would dissuade offenders from engaging in new crimes (Brown & Jolivette, 2005). Three strikes laws became widespread in 1993 when Washington became the first state to

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