Other punitive measures, that have developed out of the just deserts mentality, such as three-strikes laws, which required life sentences for those with three convictions, as well as Scared Straight programs and boot camps, have negligible or detrimental effects to recidivism (Andrews & Bonta, 2010). Studies have repeatedly shown that long prison sentences and lack of rehabilitation actually increases the likelihood of reoffending (Canadian Civil Liberties Association [CCLA], 2011). While using punitive measures in the name of retribution may make those in society feel safe, there is no evidence to support this approach.
This paper will be focusing on the controversial issue of mandatory minimum sentences in Canada. There has been much debate over this topic, as it has quickly become implemented for the sentencing of drug offenders, drug-related crimes and banned firearm offences. I will argue that every case that comes through the criminal justice system is different and deserves a fair trial with a sentence that is not already determined for them. There have been many cases where the judge has no discretion in the sentence due to the mandatory minimum sentences pre-determined for the case, no matter what the aggravating or mitigating factors were. I will argue that the mandatory minimum sentences in Canada should be reduced or eliminated as
In addition, there are approximately 2,240,000 prisoners in penal institutions in the United States, which represents more than 25 percent of the world’s incarcerated population (Walmsley 2013). According to a publication from National Council of Crime and Delinquency, the United Kingdom’s incarceration rate is only 145 per 100,000 people which is roughly five times less compared to America. Considering that common American law is derived by English law, it is appalling the find such a deviation between the two countries in their imprisonment rates. One significant factor to the United States outrageously high incarceration rate is the increasing trend of legislatures adding new criminal offenses to criminal codes. For an example, in an attempt to control crime in the 70s and 80s, lawmakers started passing laws, which increased the amount of criminal acts along with establishing harsh sentences. Many criminal offenses have mandatory minimum sentences that requires the judge to sentence the offender for the required minimum incarceration period stated in the penal code and does not allow the judge to use their own discretion to reduce, suspend, or even waive the sentence - if it was believed to be found in the best interest for both the public and offender. In addition to the legislative trend of increasing the amount of criminal offenses, the Bureau of Justice Statistic states in a report that from 1980, the
In, “The Caging of America”, by Adam Gopnik explains the problems in the in the American criminal justice system focusing more on the prison system. Some of the struggles that Gopnik states in his article are mass incarceration, crime rate, and judges giving long inappropriate sentencings to those with minor crimes. He demonstrates that inmates are getting treated poorly than helping them learn from their actions. Using facts and statistics, Gopnik makes his audience realize that there is an urgent need of change in the American prison system. The main idea of Gopnik’s article is that the prison system needs to improve its sentencing laws because prisons are getting over crowed. Gopnik’s argument is valid because there is a problem in the sentencing laws that has caused a malfunction in the prison system as a whole.
Mass incarceration has been a huge social problem since the 1980s; it came hand in hand with the war on drugs. Elliott Currie, a professor of criminology and law, suggests that building more prisons, imposing longer sentences, and applying harsh punishments will not lower the incarceration rate. In his chapter on “Assessing the Prison Experiment,” he explained that the increase of crime rate is not the sole reason that mass incarceration occurs, and it was also because courts
Truth in sentencing laws are generally popular with victim’s right advocates because those laws make it so that the criminal serves almost their whole sentence they were originally given. With these laws in most states the prisoner has to serve 85% of their sentence ("Truth in Sentencing”).
REFERENCESAustralian Law Reform Commission (1980), Sentencing of Federal Offenders, Discussion Paper No. 15Law Reform Commission NSW (2001), Discussion Paper 33(1996)-Sentencing, (Chapter 7. Parole), Lawlink New South Wales, Online. Available. http://www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/lrc.nsf/pages/DP33CHP7 3.4.2006No Author (2006), Sensible Sentencing NZ Justice: Why Parole?, Safe NZ, Online. Available. http://www.safe-nz.org.nz/paole.htm 3.4.2006Travis, L.F. (1995). Introduction to criminal justice (pp307
The ongoing role of prison within the UK Criminal Justice System is becoming increasingly unclear. On the one hand in the 21st century, it is considered to be a “state strategy for crime control, a deterrent for those contemplating crime and punitive response for those who have broken laws”McAvinchey (2011 pg.10). On the other hand, it is also supposed to have a rehabilitative purpose, the intended role of a prison is to rehabilitate the offender so that when they have completed their prison sentence, they can be successfully rehabilitated back into the community and live a crime free fulfilled life. Yet, when examining the vital statistics that underline an increase in prisoner population, it is clearly apparent that the system neither
The administration of criminal justice and the operation of criminal process play an important role in our ever-changing society. The current structure of the New South Wales criminal justice system, as described by leading critic Doreen McBarnet as the ‘two tiers of justice’, has attracted many critiques namely the ideology of triviality, summary offence punishment and other legal notions such as technocratic justice. I have applied the above concepts during the course of my observation to Local, District and Supreme Courts of New South Wales in April 2016. The following report will assess the validity of the above concepts at a practical level in light with my observation and research, drawing intrinsic links between two tiers of justice and technocratic justice, and concluding with the two tiers of justice as a necessary framework in our modern criminal justice system.
An open dialogue would be required between the legislature, department of correction personnel and the public. This dialogue would provide policy changes to the early release credit programs that focused on the reduction in prison population of non-violent offenders, establish rehabilitative programs to provide re-entry guidance and most importantly, always keep public safety at the forefront of the discussions. “The earned credits are viewed as incentivizing inmates to participate in rehabilitative programs that, in turn, should reduce recidivism after release from prison” (Turner, 2011). The prison system should not be viewed as a warehouse for humans but rather as a much needed form of justice that provides public safety by removing violent offenders and rehabilitating those that are deemed non-violent. All parties involved should take note that the major flaws in credit programs are not the programs themselves but rather the lack of accountability and
On July 9, 2007, JR is found guilty of 3 counts of first-degree murders and on November 8th, 2007 is given the maximum sentence of 10 years (Remington & Zickefoose, 2010). This would entail six years in prison with an additional four years of custodial supervision within a psychiatric institution (Remington & Zickefoose, 2010). JR was also put into the Intensive Rehabilitative Custody and Supervision program (Remington & Zickefoose, 2010). On December 15, 2008 Jeremy Steinke was found guilty of three cases of first-degree murder, and was given three consecutive life sentences with no possibility of parole for 25 years (Remington & Zickefoose, 2010).There has been a substantial amount of controversy surrounding the sentencing of JR and Jeremy
The current crime and incarceration trends have declined since early 1990s, which in part is due to the current reforms that takes place within the criminal justice system, such as early release dates for drug charges and non-violent crimes (Mauer, 2011). The incarceration rates in the United States are “three to four times that of other industrialized nations,” and the punishment scale is viewed as “out of proportion to that of other industrialized nation” (Mauer, 2011).
Truth-in-sentencing law was enacted in 1984; consequently, it mandates offenders serve the majority of their prison sentence before being eligible for release (Ditton & Wilson, 1999). The majority of the States in the United States mandate violent offenders serve at least eighty-five percent of their court ordered sentence before being eligible for release (Ditton & Wilson, 1999). The truth-in-sentencing requirement varies throughout the United States.
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 justice 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