Alternatives To Sentencing (Community Discussion)




The number of Americans going to prison every year has increased. Though the government tends to build more prisons, it will not address the problem of overpopulation within the incarcerated facilities. It will only nurture the reality that there’s a current broken criminal justice system in the country. Therefore, a reformation to the old bill is essential to outlive its worth. Here, we’re going to discuss the top alternatives for sentencing.


Prison Sentences – There are different prison sentences that the justice system currently follows. Most of the state laws require the attending judge to impose a determinate sentence. This type of sentencing is a fixed term and unmodifiable. It can be a five-year state prison or 30 days of a county jail. Prison officials have no control over this type of sentencing. There is also what we call an indeterminate sentence where the judge sets a minimum or maximum time of incarceration to an individual.  However, the prison officials have the authority to release the inmate as they see fits. Also, there are indeterminate sentences only given to people who get sentenced to a state prison right after being convicted of a felony.




Fines – Fines is one of the most common punishments for a lot of crimes. It caters with “not so serious” offenses often committed by first-time offenders. The varieties of crimes include first-time drunk-driving offense, fish and game violations, traffic violations, shoplifting, and possession of a small number of illegal drugs. Concerning a more serious offense, the judge commonly gives a combination of both fines and incarceration punishment. Other punishment like community service and probation may also apply.


Restitutions – This is the money paid by the defendant to the victim to settle their disputes. The judge might allow a light sentence in favor of compensation to the victim. However, most of the cases that went through with this type of judgment are only of those naturally minor or nonviolent. The offenders might get required to replace the damaged property. Sometimes, a compensation for the medical fees and psychological treatment to the victim is necessary. In some events, there are cases where the victim is the society. In this case, the defendant will have to pay the state restitution fund. Commonly the defendant will have to pay restitution in addition to serving some time to prison or maybe community service.


Community Service – One alternative to incarceration is community service. This punishment applies to individuals with light offenses. Community service is a form of unpaid community work. The judge may require the defendant to perform community tasks for a definite period.




Miscellaneous Sentences – These are the types of sentences that will require the defendant to follow the instructions without complaints and hesitations. Examples of these different sentences are attending a lecture given by a crime victim or community therapy. The primary goal of this practice is for the defendants to know the side of the victim. During this lecture, the defendant accepts utterances about the victim’s difficulty with the dangers of criminal behavior. The miscellaneous sentences want the defendant to experience and understand the punishment of his offense, so he can disseminate the risks of committing a crime to the society.


Stay At Home Under House Arrest – this type of punishment is typically mild. It allows the defendant to stay with his family all throughout the allotted time of sentencing.  But he’s not allowed to leave the premise of the house though.

There are a lot of ways of punishment other than incarceration. The government can use a variety of ways to limit the sentencing according to a more proper term.