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Free «Criminal Justice System Research» Essay Sample

Over the past few decades, Criminal justice trends in the world demonstrate the need for some criminal sanctions to diminish the crime rates (Vleet & Fowles, 2008). Intermediate sanctions and Incarceration are the two most common forms of sentence advocated by deterrence proponents. Some of the ways being used to correct the crime rate include retribution, deterrence, incapacitation, and rehabilitation.


This is the use of punishment as a threat to discourage people from offending .This is a principle of punishing a person accountable of a crime which ensures that the castigation is sufficient to hinder the guilty person from committing the crime. The fear of punishment will cause potential wrong doers to act within the parameters of the law. There are three types of deterrence: general deterrence, specific deterrence, and marginal deterrence (Wright, 2010). General deterrence uses the individual punished for a crime as an exemplar to encourage the public to abstain from unlawful conduct; specific deterrence punishes an offender to dissuade him/her from committing crimes in the future; marginal deterrence states that a brutal crime should be sentenced harder than a minor crime (Wright, 2010).



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Incapacitation is also another form of specific deterrence; this is a form of punishment where the criminal is taken off the streets to protect the community from future crimes. This makes it physically impossible for the offender to commit more crimes against the community while serving a sentence. The criminal is also rehabilitated while serving the sentence (Wright, 2010).

Effectiveness of Deterrence

Increasing the sternness of a sentence has less effect on crime while increasing the firmness of a punishment has a deterrent effect. Secondly, enhancing the strictness of chastisement will have minor impacts on citizens who do not consider being detained for their actions. It will also reduce crime rates since prisons may only serve as a school for crime for some offenders (Wright, 2010). Aggravating and mitigating circumstances are determined by the severity of punishment. A mitigating factor may decrease a sentence while an aggravating factor can enhance it (Roberts, 2011, pp. 2-5).  

Aggravating Factors

One of the aggravating factors is maximum penalty. This is the highest fine, the most severe order, or the longest term most imprisonment possible for an offence (Roberts, 2011, pp. 2-5). Maximum penalty reflects the gravity of that offence and it is only given when the case falls in serious group of cases for that offence. In most cases, judges usually adjust the penalty according to gravity or worthlessness of the case.

Contravene of Trust

Contravention of trust is another aggravating factor in which is sandwiched between the criminal and fatality. It is viewed as a major aggravating factor which may lead to severe punishment (Roberts, 2011, pp. 2-5).

Mitigating Factors

One of the mitigating factors is mental illness. This is usually considered in cases where there is proof that it added to or caused the charge of the offence. The reason is that such a criminal is considered to be less responsible. Detention may be difficult for such delinquents and it may be required to reflect this in the verdict (Roberts, 2011, pp. 2-5). If the criminal acts as if he/she knows the severity of his/ her actions, any mitigation is likely to be slight.

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Another mitigating factor is the evidence of high-quality character which may reduce the sentence imposed (Roberts, 2011, pp. 2-5). Good characters may be evidenced by the community involvement. The community may know the character of a person professionally or personally (Roberts, 2011, pp. 2-5).

Why Victim Impact Statement Should Be Allowed into Evidence

This is an oral or written statement made as an element of the court legal process. It gives the victim a chance to speak during the sentencing of their assailant or at consequent parole hearings (Vleet & Fowles, 2008). It should be allowed into evidence to permit the person or people directly affected by the offense to address the courtyard during the judgment. Secondly, the statement is used to inform a court of the harm and trauma suffered by the victim if required by the court in deciding the sentence.

Additionally, the victim’s statement is used to express what they believe to be a suitable penalty for the criminal. It may also be used in civil cases to determine how much is awarded to the plaintiff (Vleet & Fowles, 2008). The use of Victim Impacts Statement in evidence also creates groups of fatalities leading to stiffer sanctions for those who affront against powerful, loved, or upper class victims.

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Intermediate Sanction Having the Greatest Deterrent Effect on the Offenders

These are criminal justice programs used to provide sentencing options to a particular offender instead of prisons (Vleet & Fowles, 2008). One of them is the Intensive Supervision Program (ISP). This involves a wide variety of community based programs that emphasize close monitoring. Each ISP must be modified to fit each targeted offender population according to the state resources (Vleet & Fowles, 2008). These programs call for unscheduled drug testing, combination of various weekly contacts with a supervising officer, and strict enforcement of trial to attend treatment, to work, and to do community service.

The Effectiveness of Intensive Supervision Programs

Introduction of the ISPs has brought with it some success, for instance, the participants had extremely low recidivism rates. Most offenders were able to maintain employment, make restitution, and pay a monthly supervision fee (Vleet & Fowles, 2008). Community supervision maintains the integrity of the family in the cases of the married offenders. These programs also prevent the offenders from becoming more embedded in illegal lifestyle by being exposed to chronic offenders’ prisons.

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Society based programs are used to control the conduct of criminals while keeping them in the society. Some of the intermediate sanctions such as the Intensive Supervision Programs are considered to more corrective than regular probation in reducing crime rate. With these programs in place, the deterrent factors in criminology are noticed. These programs are vital in assisting the society to justly punish criminal who interfere with social harmony. 


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