chapter 15 - Chapter 15 Punishment Sentencing and...

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Chapter 15: Punishment, Sentencing, and Corrections I. Crime Control and Purposes of Punishment Purposes of punishment o General deterrence: discourage other potential lawbreakers o Individual deterrence: keeps criminal from committing more crimes in the future o Incapacitation: criminal being in prison makes society feel safer o Retribution: society believes offenders should be punished for their crimes o Moral outrage: punishment gives society a means of catharsis and relief o Rehabilitation: offenders recognize the error of their ways and develop new skills o Restitution: wrongdoers should compensate victims for their damages and losses These goals are mostly utilitarian: accomplish a useful outcome Retributive: punishment should be inflicted on someone who has taken something from someone else Policy capturing: measured punishment motives of ordinary people o Contrasted atonement (compensation for harm committed) and deterrence (preventing future harms) o Results: high sensitivity to factors associated with just desserts and relative insensitivity to factors associated with deterrence o Preferences focused on retrospective sense of what punishment is appropriate for a given harm – what an offender deserves Original purpose of prison was to rehabilitate o Now, rehabilitation falls secondary to sentencing, which has grown longer and prison conditions harsher Jails designed to punish, not rehabilitate o But today, overcrowded prisons seem to offer inmates more opportunities to learn new criminal behaviors and attitudes II. Sentencing: Difficult Choices Judicial function, but sentencing decisions controlled by legislative branch Determinate sentencing: sentences determined by statutes and sentencing guidelines, and judges have little control o Present in federal system and some states Other states: focus on offender, not offense Usually mixed
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