Assignment Content Complete the Criminal Courts and Sentencing Goals Worksheet.Format your paper in accordance with APA guidelines.Submit your completed worksheet to the Assignment.*Be sure to address each question asked. In question 2 describe both of the chosen sentencing goals when comparing similarities and differences.
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Criminal Courts and Sentencing Goals Worksheet
CJS/201 Version 3
Criminal Courts and Sentencing Goals Worksheet
Name: Click here to enter text.
Answer the following prompts.
1. Select two of the sentencing goals discussed in Chapter 11 of textbook on page 346. Write the
two punishment goals you selected below.
2. How are these goals similar to each other? How are they different? (260-350 words)
3. Do you think the models you selected are effective deterrents? Why or why not? Provide at least
one real-life criminal justice case to support your response. (260-350 words)
4. How does plea bargaining affect the criminal justice system? (100-175 words)
5. Identify an amendment that directly impacts the court system and explain its effects. (100-175
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The Philosophy and Goals of Criminal Sentencing
Traditional sentencing options have included imprisonment, fines, probation, and—for very serious
offenses—death. Limits on the range of options available to sentencing authorities are generally
specified by law. Historically, those limits have shifted as understandings of crime and the goals of
sentencing have changed. Sentencing philosophies, or the justifications on which various sentencing
strategies are based, are manifestly intertwined with issues of religion, morals, values, and emotions.4
Philosophies that gained ascendancy at a particular point in history usually reflected more deeply held
social values. Centuries ago, for example, it was thought that crime was due to sin and that suffering
was the culprit’s due. Judges were expected to be harsh. Capital punishment, torture, and painful
physical penalties served this view of criminal behavior.
Sentencing philosophies are intertwined with issues of religion, morals, values, and emotions.
An emphasis on equitable punishments became prevalent around the time of the American and French
Revolutions, brought about in part by Enlightenment philosophies. Offenders came to be seen as highly
rational beings who intentionally and somewhat carefully chose their course of action. Sentencing
philosophies of the period stressed the need for sanctions that outweighed the benefits to be derived
from criminal activity. The severity of punishment became less important than quick and certain
Recent thinking has emphasized the need to limit offenders’ potential for future harm by separating
them from society. We also still believe that offenders deserve to be punished, and we have not entirely
abandoned hope for their rehabilitation. Modern sentencing practices are influenced by five goals,
which weave their way through widely disseminated professional and legal models, continuing public
calls for sentencing reform, and everyday sentencing practice. Each goal represents a quasi-independent
sentencing philosophy, as each makes distinctive assumptions about human nature and holds
implications for sentencing practice. Table 11-1 shows the five general goals of contemporary
Table 11-1 Sentencing—Goals and Purposes
A just deserts perspective that emphasizes taking revenge on a criminal perpetrator or
group of offenders.
Incapacitation The use of imprisonment or other means to reduce the likelihood that a particular
offender will commit more crime.
A sentencing rationale that seeks to inhibit criminal behavior through punishment or the fear of
Seeks to prevent future crimes like the one for which the sentence is being imposed.
Seeks to prevent a particular -offender from engaging in repeat criminality.
Rehabilitation The attempt to reform a criminal offender.
A goal of sentencing that seeks to make the victim “whole again.”
A sketch of a courtroom showing a muslim man sitting and facing a group of people, while the judge and
lawyer are behind a desk and podium, respectively.
A courtroom drawing showing Rosemary Dillard, whose husband was killed on September 11, 2001,
speaking to Zacarias Moussaoui, as family members of other 9/11 victims listen. The scene took place in
U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, during the sentencing hearing for the convicted al-Qaeda
-conspirator. On May 4, 2006, federal Judge Leonie M. Brinkema sentenced Moussaoui to life in prison
with no possibility of release. What was Moussaoui’s crime? Do you think that his sentence was just
and fair? Might it deter other would-be terrorists?
Dana Verkouteren/AP Wide World Photos
Retribution is a call for punishment based on a perceived need for vengeance. Retribution is the earliest
known rationale for punishment. Most early societies punished all offenders who were caught. Early
punishments were immediate—often without the benefit of a hearing—and they were often extreme,
with little thought given to whether the punishment “fit” the crime. Death and exile, for example, were
commonly imposed, even for relatively minor offenses. The Old Testament dictum of “an eye for an eye,
a tooth for a tooth”—often cited as an ancient justification for retribution—was actually intended to
reduce the severity of punishment for relatively minor crimes.
The act of taking revenge on a criminal perpetrator.
Today, retribution corresponds to the just deserts model of sentencing, which holds that offenders are
responsible for their crimes. When they are convicted and punished, they are said to have gotten their
“just deserts.” Retribution sees punishment as deserved, justified, and even required5 by the offender’s
behavior. The primary sentencing tool of the just deserts model is imprisonment, but in extreme cases
capital punishment (i.e., death) becomes the ultimate retribution. Both in the public’s view and in
political policymaking, retribution is still a primary goal of criminal sentencing.
A model of criminal sentencing that holds that criminal offenders deserve the punishment they
receive at the hands of the law and that punishments should be appropriate to the type and severity of
the crime committed.
Incapacitation, the second goal of criminal sentencing, seeks to protect innocent members of society
from offenders who might harm them if not prevented from doing so. In ancient times, mutilation and
amputation of the extremities were sometimes used to prevent offenders from repeating their crimes.
Modern incapacitation strategies separate offenders from the community to reduce opportunities for
further criminality. Incapacitation, sometimes called the “lock ‘em up approach,” forms the basis for the
modern movement toward prison “warehousing.” Unlike retribution, incapacitation requires only
restraint—and not punishment.
The use of imprisonment or other means to reduce the likelihood that an offender will commit future
Deterrence uses the example or threat of punishment to convince people that criminal activity is not
worthwhile. Its overall goal is crime prevention. Specific deterrence seeks to reduce the likelihood of
recidivism (repeat offenses) by convicted -offenders, whereas general deterrence strives to influence
the future behavior of people who have not yet been arrested and who may be tempted to turn to
crime. Deterrence is one of the more “rational” goals of sentencing because it is an easily articulated
goal and because it is possible to investigate objectively the amount of punishment required to deter.
A goal of criminal sentencing that seeks to -inhibit criminal behavior through the fear of punishment.
A goal of criminal sentencing that seeks to prevent a particular offender from engaging in repeat
A goal of criminal sentencing that seeks to prevent others from committing crimes similar to the one
for which a particular offender is being sentenced by making an example of the person sentenced.
The act of relapsing into a problem or criminal behavior during or after receiving sanctions, or while
undergoing an intervention due to a previous behavior or crime. In criminal justice settings, recidivism is
often measured by criminal acts that result in rearrest, reconviction, or return to prison.
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