Laws To Protect The Inmates: Alternative Sentencing

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Most criminals have been convicted of their crimes. In that case, they end up receiving corporal punishment and being subjected to a very harsh environment not conducive for proper survival as mostly they don’t know their rights. Well, there came some laws by other states to protect the inmates. Alternative sentencing can be seen as a collective name in fighting criminal offenses whereby a criminal ought to know how they can be fit to enjoy. Unlike in ancient times where corporal punishment was rampant, though not came to an end; still, there is some kind of punishment to which a criminal is subjected to but not harsh as compared to ancient times. Measures have been put in place to curb serious punishment used to be experienced by the offenders in the jaws of prison. This research document is going to talk about alternative ways of sentencing offenders.

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Firstly, offenders find it difficult to deal with situations when in a court of law. It needs a good attorney to process their requests for alternative sentencing rather than a corporal one. There is quite a number of alternative sentencing which an offender can be subjected to depending on the weight of a crime presented before the judge. Restitution and fines being the common ones and very well known to many. A fine can be imposed; this is the money that goes to the state for the purpose of taxing, which varies according to the offense committed. Ranges from hundreds to billions of dollars depending on a crime committed.

Restitution is the money imposed on an offender to pay for the damage caused and this one goes to a victim. A judge can impose both a fine and restitution to a defendant to pay. Damage caused can be minor or major; the amount in restitution will also vary depending on the damage. A judge can assess fines for the defendant even there is no financial damage caused. Some offenders are not eligible for alternative sentencing.

Work release is where an offender is released to continue with his/her employment. Here, a culprit is allowed to go and do the job, after their shifts offenders must return to jail staying overnight there and they can’t do anything apart from going to the workplace. It’s only applied to those offenders with the job. On other hand, there is a weekend jail. It seems better for those people with responsibilities and fetches for family members. To apply for a weekend jail term needs a good attorney to process your requests.

Judges can rule that you’ll be under house arrest. Is less expensive and intrusive than prison. Joan Petersillia. House arrest is considered to be illegal. Involves some surveillance machines to watch over you under your own roof. You are barred from traveling and exploiting nature. House arrest is home detention where you are restricted to any form of communication from people outside the home or if any communication is allowed, then it must be monitored extensively. Mostly house arrest is applied by oppressive governments against their opponents in case of a coup de tat. Ex-IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn was freed without bail.

Moreover, community service is alternative sentencing where an offender is subjected to work without pay. A defendant is herein required to work for the community voluntarily for the benefit of it instead of going to jail. The Salvation Army – History of the Salvation Army. Work involved here is collecting of liters to cleaning of roadsides and opening up of canals. The offender is required to work for certain hours and then recorded by an officer in charge. A fine can be reduced in exchange to the number of hours prescribed by the court.

Nevertheless, a court of law may rule for jail diversion for hardcore criminals. If an offender is found to be of unsound mind, convicted of drug trafficking then a judge might be forced to order for treatment and rehabilitation respectively. J. K. Peterson, J. Skeem, P. Kennealy, B. Bray, and A. Zvonkovic, “How often and how consistently do symptoms directly precede criminal behavior among offenders with mental illness?” Law and Human Behavior.

Currently, the jail diversion program is given first priority as it deals with people of unsound minds. Henry J. Steadman Ph.D., Michelle Naples M.A (2005). Study shows that this program is with positive impact to arrive at desired results. Jail diversion minimizes the period spent in prison without increasing public safety risk. People with mental disorders tend to return to jail more quickly due to inadequate treatment. C. M. Sarteschi, “Mentally lll offenders involved with the U.S. criminal justice system: A synthesis,” SAGE Open. Jail diversion is important in that the person involved is being supervised until he/she completes treatment.

Alternative sentencing as depicted in various articles, it’s not limited to adults but also apply to juvenile cases. The underage person might be convicted of an offense. All that applies to adults will have to follow this route. Laws on crimes tend to be similar; for instance, a 16-year old person finds himself behind the bars and the court discovered that he is not fit for a jail term; judge will be forced to issue a ruling depending on the situation of the defendant. If of unsound mind, the defendant will be sent on medication.

In conclusion, an offender to qualify in alternative sentencing must volunteer to do so because a judge is less likely to order for rehabilitation and medication. Many crimes are not suitable for alternative sentencing, more so violent and drug abuse offenses. A person might qualify for alternative sentencing if he/she committed a crime for the first time and also if the offense committed is non-violent in nature. The offender might have steady employment; therefore he might qualify for alternative sentencing. Culprit promising to complete treatment if convicted when medication started qualifies him/her for alternative sentencing. In case of a defendant not being too dangerous to the community, might qualify one for alternative sentencing.

29 April 2022

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