Sentencing, incarceration

 Sentencing and Incarceration Sentencing and Incarceration Introduction Several purposes of sentencing and incarceration have been identified. these purposes are regarded as rehabilitation, deterrence, incapacitation and revenge. When the purpose is to rehabilitate, policy makers make sentencing policies in a manner to change the attitudes of criminals so they can once again be a part of the society. When the purpose is to incapacitate, policy makers make sentencing policies in such a manner so that criminals do not become a part of the society and they remain away from the society as they pose a threat to the society. When revenge is the purpose, policies are made while keeping the notion of an eye for an eye in minds.


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No matter what ever the purpose of a particular sentencing policy is, the main aim of all policies is to deter future criminal activity. For example: rehabilitative polices are created to educate and change the mental setup of criminals so in future they do not commit crimes. Similarly, in the case of incapacitation, policy makers keep criminals for prolonged period of time because they believe that they can deter crime by keeping criminals of the streets (Ritchie, 2011, p.7). Even in the case of revenge, policy makers make criminals pay heavy amount of fines and even assign corporal punishment with the intent of ensuring that due to the fear of heavy monetary fines, criminals will not commit crimes and punishments such as corporal punishment will deter those who have an intention of committing future crimes.

If I would have been in the shoes of a policy maker and had the authority to make sentencing policies, my policies would have been driven by the purpose of deterring crime. My policies would be backed with both forms of deterrence including general as well as specific deterrence. Policies that are made with the aim of specific deterrence are those due to which a criminal is banned or stopped from committing future crimes.

To serve the purpose of specific deterrence I would create sentencing policies that would keep criminals for a longer period of time depending on the severity of the crime. Plus I would implement rehabilitation techniques such as providing psychological assistance and education to criminals so their criminal mind set can be altered and they have enough education to pursue careers that would deter them from the path of crime. Similar policies can be applied to serve the purpose of general deterrence. the prolonged period of jail time would be a lesson for upcoming criminals that if they commit a crime they will be banned from the society for a longer period of time (Vincent, 1994, p.3).


Different purpose of sentencing policies includes revenge, rehabilitation, incapacitation and deterrence, but the main aim of all sentencing and incarceration policies is to deter crime in a specific and general manner. By using deterrence as the purpose of sentencing, current criminals can be stopped from future crimes and their behavior can be altered so they can once again be a part of the society. By using the same purpose, future criminals can be stopped from committing crimes and having a criminal intent.


Ritchie, D., & Victoria. (2011). Does imprisonment deter?: A review of the evidence. Melbourne: Sentencing Advisory Council.

Vincent, B. S., Hofer, P. J., & Federal Judicial Center. (1994). The consequences of mandatory minimum prison terms: A summary of recent findings. Washington, DC (One Columbus Circle, N.E., Washington 20002-8003: Federal Judicial Center.$file/conmanmin.

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