Define what intermediate sanctions are, their purpose in the criminal justice process, and their function as a sentencing alternative. Then, answer this question: Do you feel intermediate sanctions are an appropriate punishment? Explain your rationale……………………
Intermediate sanctions are sanctions which are much more restrictive as compared to probation, but at the same time they are less restrictive as compared to incarceration. The problem of overcrowding of correctional facilities can be solved by such sanctions (intermediate sanctions), and so is the problem of understaffed probation department. It can include intensive probation, house arrest, drug treatment programs, boot camps and even electronic monitoring (Caputo 2004).
The intermediate sanctions are capable of serving two purposes within the criminal justice system. The issue of crowding as mentioned is sorted out by the intermediate sanctions as mentioned before. Repetition of the crime is targeted by this form of justice system as the behavior of the defendant is the one that is targeted rather than the defendant him / her self. For instance, if a drug addict is taken to a drug treatment or rehabilitation center, then he /she is less likely to associate with drug related crimes that will enable him / her to be able to support the drug problem. This is much better as opposed to being sent to prison.
The intermediate sanctions are therefore an effective tool when used wisely. The individuals who are really keen on making positive changes in their lives are capable of making those changes and benefit from them at the same time. Also the community will benefit from these changes given those threats in terms of health and security will be transformed into positive citizens.
It is however difficult for the judge to be able to tell who is genuinely in need of a positive change and who is in need of a free pass from jail. It is however important to note that the judge reserves the right to decide that, especially in the case of non violent offenders who when given the intermediate sanctions will be less likely to injure or harm others (Caputo 2004).
Caputo, G. A. (2004). Intermediate sanctions in corrections. North Texas:University of NorthTexas Press.
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