Alternative Sentencing and Diversion Programs

8 August 2016

There are many types of diversion programs and alternative sentencing. Some being more successful than others. It has been found that only nonviolent offenders have been positively affected by alternative sentencing and diversion programs. Violent offenders have shown to be unaffected by such programs. One of the most popular sentencing laws in the state of California is the Determinate Sentencing Law. This law places a shorter sentence on a given inmate that has committed a nonviolent crime and once the inmate serves his sentence, he is released and places under parole supervision.

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The ladder to that is the ISL (Indeterminate Sentencing Law). This law will hold a lifetime sentence for a violent offender with the chance of parole depending on BPH (The Board of Parole Hearings). These laws are also known as split sentences, shock incarceration, and intermittent incarceration. Split sentencing is simple and the most common in which the convicted person is sentenced to a given amount of time, then released under probation. Shock incarceration is when a convicted criminal is given a sentence and told that after serving a certain portion of that sentence he can petition to be released under probation.

Intermittent incarceration is the program in which a convicted person spends a given time each week in a prison, work house, or other government institution. In this case it would mostly consist of weekends so that the person could keep a job or attend school under certain conditions. It is shown that fifty seven percent of people in the corrections system are on probation, while eleven percent are on parole, eleven percent are still in jail, and twenty one percent are still in prison. Of the fifty seven percent on probation, three quarters of those will end up back in the prison system before their probationary period is over.

Sixty five percent of convicted felons do not pay their fines nor do they keep in touch with their probation officer. Alternative sentencing and diversion programs are a waste of time and money. Multiple repeat offenders should be sentenced to life at the very least or given capital punishment. Only the select few who learn from their mistakes the first time should be given that second chance to prove one self. Too many chances are given to too many felons and too many tax dollars are used in these type of programs.

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