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Based on what you’ve read in chapter one of Alarid, if you were a judge, would you prefer determinate or indeterminate sentencing? Why? Which would you prefer if you were convicted of a crime? Why? What if you were a legislator? How would you balance determinate sentencing with the desire to keep the tax burden low?

Indeterminate sentencing has a process of the judge sentencing the defendant to prison., and later, it is up to the parole board to decide when the inmate is ready to be released. This strategy is great, because the parole board can decide if the inmate has made enough progress. Determinate sentencing has a process of the judge giving a sentence to a defendant that is a fixed amount of time. This type of sentencing still does have its pros, as it is using non-negotiable punishment. (Alarid, 2017). If I were a judge, I would use indeterminate sentencing, for the most part. This is because different inmates make progress at different rates. So this would leave it up to the inmate to make his/her own progression. In some cases such as murder and rape, I would utilize determinate sentencing. If I were a legislator, I would promote the use of funds for intermediate sanctions. Intermediate sanctions are great for reducing overcrowding because it allows a judge to sentence people to probation, house arrest, community service, etc. It is very expensive to house an inmate for just one year, according to Clear, Cole, Reisig, and Petrosino, it can cost up upwards of around $10,000 to house one inmate for an entire year. (Clear, Cole, Reisig, Petrosino, 2017). So pushing the use of intermediate sanctions would definitely help. Also promoting the use of programs within prison, such as education, technical training, etc., can help reduce the chances of inmates returning back to prison, as it helps inmates gain skills to return back to their normal lives. These internal programs also help with indeterminate sentencing because of inmates utilizing them, they are somewhat in control of early release, depending on what crime they committed.

Clear, T.R., Cole, G.F., Reisig, M.D., Petrosino, C. (2017). Jails. American corrections. (3rd. ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

Alarid, L.F. (2017). An overview of community corrections. Community based corrections. (12th. ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

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