8th, February 2013
1- What is pretrial supervision? What is the purpose of pretrial supervision? And, in your opinion, is it effective? Why or why not?
Pretrial supervision in courts refers to the way in which individuals awaiting trial and have been released into their communities, are monitored. The US pretrial service officers are in charge of this. They supervise them to ensure that these are obeying the law, and adhere with the conditions of their release, while waiting for their trial. This kind of supervision has turned out to be effective, due to various reasons. First, this reduces the level of congestion and overcrowding in jails. Additionally, supervision ensures the safety of the defendants and the community in which they are released to. When under supervision, it is hard for the defendant into get involved in another type of crime, since they are being watched (Smartt, 2006).
2- What is a Diversion? Is it effective? When is it used? Why or why not? Be specific and give examples.
Diversion is a type of sentencing in the criminal justice system. A court, police department, or the office of the district attorney, among others, conducts this. In this kind of sentencing, the offenders are normally helped to avoid court charges, and a subsequent criminal record. This sentencing might be used in various situations. For instance, if it is a case involving a youthful offender, then this sentencing is more likely to be used. It is argued that when youth are exposed to the juvenile criminal system, this might influence them negatively, and instead of serving as a correction, it may cause more harm to the teenager. This shows therefore, that this sentencing is only applicable to petty mistakes, which are mostly committed by teenagers or juveniles. These petty mistakes committed by juveniles, such as bullying in school, can be addressed by other outside-of-court means (Smartt, 2006).
3- What influences offenders’ willingness to serve Alternative Sanctions? Be specific and give details.
Different offenders might choose alternative sanctions or not, depending on various factors. First, the gender factor is important in determining this decision. Different studies have shown that fewer men than women are willing to take up alternative sanctions. However, of all the alternative sanctions, most women did not want electronic monitoring and half house. This is because of their high level of restrictiveness. For instance, in electronic monitoring, women are not allowed to bring along their children. Therefore, being mothers, most female offenders will not accept this type of alternative sanction (Smartt, 2006).
4- What is restorative justice? Is it effective? Why or why not?
Restorative justice in criminal justice refers to the emphasis on repairing the injuries and harm caused by crime. This is therefore, a process, which former offenders have to undergo. Additionally, the victims, offenders, and community members can meet and find ways of doing this, in order to ensure healing of the victims and the peace of mind and forgiveness of offenders. This programme ensures that all the relevant parties are involved in responding to the crime. Professionals from the government sector or the legal sector might facilitate the process. This programme has served its purpose well, even though it is not perfectly effective. Nonetheless, it has reduced the probability of a former offender committing the same kind of crime. Additionally, this has been effective in reducing the stress of victims related to their post-traumatic period. Most victims also confess to not wanting revenge after they are exposed to this programme (Smartt, 2006).
5- Do you support victim impact statements? Why or why not?
I consider victim impact statements essential in the legal process. Therefore, I support them. The victim impact statements give a voice to the victims of an offence, as they allow them to note down the impact the crime had on them financially, physically, or psychologically. This helps the victims to finally come to terms with the crime and its impact on them. Although this can be hard for some victims to do, it is confirmed to contribute to the healing process of the victims. The victim impact statements are also important to courts. Since these contain the information about the impact of a rime on victims, judges might use this information to come up with appropriate sentences for the offenders, depending on the magnitude of the crime.
Smartt, U. (2006). Criminal Justice. New York: SAGE.
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