State and federal punishment
The major objectives of correction punishments in the United States of America are include retribution, deterrence, rehabilitation and incapacitation. Retribution has become the primary objective of punishing the offenders in the United States of America. It is based on the notion that all those who commit criminal offences should undergo certain forms of suffering because of their negative actions/vices (Prisons and jails).
There are two forms of deterrence i.e. specific and general deterrence. The main aim for the specific deterrence is to persuade the offenders to refrain from committing further criminal offences. On the other hand, the general deterrence’s main aim is to dissuade other people by making them aware of the punishments that are given to the ones who have committed similar crimes (Prisons and jails).
Incapacitation is where the offenders are rendered incapable of committing further crimes with the aim of protecting the society from the offender who are likely to be involved in criminal offences again. This objective has an assumption that some people require to be restrained in order to avoid more crimes. Incapacitation is an ideal practice that can be used on corporations that have poor law compliance records or where they operate by criminal means (Law Reforms Commission).
Finally, rehabilitation objective is meant to reform the offenders by enhancing change in their future behaviors both in the offenders and society’s interests. The approaches of rehabilitation tend to make assumptions that the factors resulting to the commission of the offences can be identified and that the assistance can be prescribed to eliminate the factors that cause undesirable behavior (Law Reforms Commission, 1999). For example, GEO provides various programs for offender rehabilitation in the American prisons (GEO, 2011)
The cost of the America’s corrections systems has skyrocketed over the last few years due to the more offenders who are imprisoned for long time. The increased correction costs leads to the burdening of the tax payers who funds them. For instance, the average cost for locking someone in the American prison is over $30000 per year. These high costs are for the physical facilities, prisoners and the more security personnel who take care of the prisoners. For example, the US government spent about 5.1 dollars in 1995 in the construction of new prisons.
Due to the mandatory sentencing that was proposed in the United States by the politicians’ the number of prisoners has increased. This increased sentencing in the United States of America has led to increased costs of the corrections. This is due to the increase in the prison population and many cases of serving long prison terms. When the prisons are overcrowded, the burden for the correctional administrators increases leading to poor service delivery. The high population in the prisons leads to inadequacy of corrections facilities such as the rehabilitation and treatment facilities (DocShare).
The negative effects of sentencing to the corrections are on the rise in America because of the removal from consideration of other options of sentencing that may be less costly and more effective than the mandatory incarceration. The sentencing has also affected all the criminal justice system including the verdicts of the offenders’ eligibility for important programs such as rehabilitation. Finally, the mandatory sentencing led to the limitation of the discretion of the sentencing judges. For instance, the judges are forced to impose sentences that bear little or no resemblance to the actual amount of time to be served (Clear, T, Cole, G and Resig, M. 2008).
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