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Criminal Justice System: Sentencing and Litigation

1. What is sentencing? How does sentencing impact corrections? How can we improve sentencing so that it improves the correctional system overall?

2. What is the objective of punishment in the criminal justice system? How does punishment apply to the overall objectives of the criminal justice system? How can we improve punishment so that it assists in the improvement of institutional objectives within the criminal justice system?

3. What is the definition of a state prison? How do state and federal prisons differ? What would happen if state prisons were incorporated into federal prisons effective immediately?

4. What is litigation? How does litigation affect prisoners and the prison system? How can processes and procedures be changed to limit litigation issues in jails and prisons?

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1. What is sentencing? How does sentencing impact corrections? How can we improve sentencing so that it improves the correctional system overall?

Sentencing represents the post-conviction stage of the process of criminal justice wherein the defendant is brought before the court to face the penalty for their crime. When a defendant is charged in criminal court and convicted the verdict is called the sentence wherein the court assesses a penalty for the crime committed. Several goals exist for why sentencing is issued including deterrence, incapacitation, and rehabilitation. Some states enable juries to sentence defendants while most states as well as federal court dictate that judges perform the sentencing phase of a trial.

Different crimes necessitate different sentencing schemes. Serious crimes warrant sentencing at a hearing that enables the prosecutor and defendant to present arguments on each behalf regarding either increasing or reducing the sentence. Minor charges and violations typically are predetermined in regards to the severity of a sentence that is pronounced directly upon conviction. For serious crimes, sentencing is usually pronounced at a sentencing hearing, where the prosecutor and the defendant present their arguments regarding the penalty. For violations and other minor charges, sentencing is either predetermined or pronounced immediately after conviction.

Commonly states identify community service, probation, fines, restitution, and imprisonment as the dominant forms of sentencing. The death penalty is also issued as a sentence in some states. In either regard, in states where judges sentence criminal defendants all relevant evidence, testimony, and presentencing reports for offenders on probation are considered. Both federal and state courts have sentencing hearings that are preceded by presentence investigations and reports. These reports are conducted by court services or probation officers' who submits the report to all parties involved in the criminal justice process. Some states still allow courts to craft sentences within the bounds of sentencing statutes that allow for minimum and maximum punishments for specific crimes regardless if the defendant is a first-time offender.
http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/sentencing

2. What is the objective of punishment in the criminal justice system? How does punishment apply to the overall objectives of the criminal justice system? How can we improve punishment so that it assists in the improvement of institutional objectives within ...

Solution Summary

The expert examines criminal justice systems for sentencing and litigation.

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