A court has several sentencing options that it can impose on a convicted felon depending on the severity of the crime. Before a judge can impose a punishment, he is supposed to look at all the available facts to come up with a just ruling. Fines, probation and house arrest, are some of the sentencing that a judge is allowed to use when punishing an offender.
A house arrest is a kind of sentencing where an offender is supposed to spend all or most of his time in his/her home. A house arrest can be ruled carried out with a combination of a monitoring device. The offender may be asked to put on a transmitter gadget that is used by law enforcement agency to determine whether the person is violating his sentencing. At times, a house arrest can be coupled with some fine or community service depending on the judges discretion. A judge looks at different factors before deciding to issue a house arrest. Mostly a judge will give a house arrest when a jail term is too harsh, but a parole is too lenient. A judge will also have to look at the flight risk factor as well as his link with the society. Another situation that may make one get a house arrest sentences is after a sex offender has completed his sentence (Bryan Stevenson & John Stinneford). A parole commissions may decide to impose a house arrest on a sex offender who has just come home from his/her prison sentence. The decision is also made due to economic reasons. Due to a limited space in the jail cells, a judge may feel the offender is not dangerous and sentence him to house arrest so that the dangerous and untrustworthy offenders can go to prison.
Fines are yet another remedy that a court may decide to impose on an offender. Typically, the court fines people who are petty offenders such as shoplifters or first-time offenders. When an offender does not pay a fine as order, he or she is taken to prison. In some situation, a judge may decide to fine an offender as well as jail her or him. Such kind of a ruling may be arrived at if the offense is serious. Fines can be discriminatory to offenders especially if the person is poor. The court system has introduced day fines to remedy the situation. The penalties mean that an individual can be able to pay the penalty imposed on him or her by ducting some percentage from their pay. The sentencing follows the principle where the punishment is not too harsh nor too lenient.
Probation is a kind of punishment where an offender is allowed to leave in the community but under the supervision of a parole officer. A defender under probation will be required to meet his parole officer on a regular basis. An officer who is assigned an offender meets with them to monitor their work schedule, take drug tests and submit reports to the court (Abadinsky, 2015). Typically a judge rules to issues a probation ruling if the crime committed is a property. Although defenders who are punished by probation do not go to jail, the effect is that the decision does not save the state money. The reason is that the offender would not have spent much time in jail anyway. There is a high recidivism among intensive supervision probation or though the offense is mostly due to the violation of the probation conditions rather than doing another offense.
Abadinsky, H. (2015). Probation and parole: Theory and practice (6th ed.).
Bryan Stevenso, A., & John Stinneford, F. (n.d.). Amendment VIII - The United States Constitution. Retrieved from https://constitutioncenter.org/interactive-constitution/amendments/amendment-viii
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