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Lock ‘Em Up!

Why do We Lock “Em Up?”


Incapacitation: Physically prevent offenders from committing additional crimes against society.

Retribution: (just Deserts). Offenders need to pay for their crimes.

Deterrence: You understand this from the previous chapter.

Rehabilitation: The ‘forgotten’ goal.

Restitution: The offender “compensate” the victim, victim’s family of community for the crime. It can be community service or money for property crimes. In the case of murder and violent offense it can be apologizes and/or convincing remorse for their crimes. They help the victim forgiveness is healthier than anger. This is often referred to as Restorative Justice.

Types of Incarceration

Jails (city and county level): They confine those awaiting trail and those serving ‘short’ sentences. Depending on the state sentences can range from a maximum of one year (NY and NJ) to five years (PA). Approximately 50% of those in jail are bail eligible (they simply cannot afford – you only need to post 10%). Generally conditions in jails are much worse than prison. They tend to be Under-funded, under-staffed, people coming and going, high staff turnover, people coming off the street with drug/alcohol/mental conditions, and far fewer activities.

Prisons: State custody, more serious offenders with longer sentences. Prison have far more resources than jails.

The Incarceration Binge


1, Three Strikes/Mandatory Minimums: A Classic Bait and Switch

These and Mandatory minimums were intended keep thee 3-time violent offenders off the streets. A third felony results can result in a 25 year (or more) sentence. Felonies do not always mean a violent crime. NOTE the minor offense for people get the third strike.

In the late 1990s an individual got his third strike in CA for a property crime (stealing three...

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