Public Safety Logo

Administration of Justice 101
Unit 7

Sentencing and the Role of the victim

Unit Objectives:
At the completion of this unit the student will:

Identify and explain the five goals of sentencing.

Discuss the differences between 'indeterminate sentencing' and 'determinate' sentencing; goals and objectives.

Discuss the changing role of the 'victim' in criminal proceedings.

Describe the new movements toward 'Three Strikes and You're Out' laws.

Unit Overview:

The general five goals of sentencing are retribution, incapacitation, deterrence, rehabilitation, and victim restoration. The models of sentencing are indeterminate (one specific punishment for each type of crime) and indeterminate (encourages rehabilitation since the inmate's behavior while incarcerated determines the actual time served). The traditional sentences are typically incarceration, fines, probation, and the death penalty. Innovative new sentencing programs include split sentencing, shock probation/parole/incarceration, intensive supervision, and home confinement.

Generally victims of crimes have the following rights: (1) the right to be informed by the appropriate law enforcement agency or the prosecuting attorney of the date of trial and the date of sentencing of the case in which the victim is involved; (2) the right to be notified that a sentencing hearing or a court proceeding to which the victim has been subpoenaed will not occur as scheduled; (3) the right to receive protection from harm and threats of harm arising out of cooperation with law enforcement and prosecution efforts, and to be provided with information as to the protection available; (4) the right to be informed of the procedure to be followed to apply for and receive any compensation under prescribed by law; (5) at the request of the prosecution or a law enforcement agency, the right to cooperate with the criminal justice process without loss of pay and other employee benefits as prescribed by law and without interference in any form by the employer of the victim of crime; (6) the right to obtain access to immediate medical assistance and not to be detained for an unreasonable length of time by a law enforcement agency before having medical assistance administered; however, an employee of the law enforcement agency may, if necessary, accompany the person to a medical facility to question the person about the criminal incident if the questioning does not hinder the administration of medical assistance; (7) the right to make a written or oral statement for use in preparation of the presentence report of a felony defendant; (8) the right to appear personally at the defendant's sentencing hearing to present a written statement, and to give sworn testimony or an unsworn oral presentation; and (9) the right to be informed by the prosecuting attorney, at any time after the defendant's conviction, about the complete record of the defendant's convictions.

Reading Assignment:

Read Chapter 9 (Sentencing).

Web Assignment:

No Web Assignment

Writing Assignment:

Answer the following questions and email to your instructor:

  1. Describe the five goals of contemporary criminal sentencing discussed in this chapter. Which of these goals do you think ought to be the primary goal of sentencing? How might your choice of goal vary with the type of offense? In what circumstances might your choice be less acceptable?
  2. Illustrate the difference between determinate and indeterminate sentencing. What led some states to abandon indeterminate sentencing?
  3. What is mandatory sentencing? How does it differ from indeterminate sentencing? Why was mandatory sentencing created?
  4. Do you support or oppose capital punishment? Outline the arguments on both sides of the issue.

Go to the textbook website (the link is at the bottom of the page). Once there, go to the chapters located at the upper left hand corner of the page Chapter Nine.

Complete the following:

Click on the Multiple-Choice link. Complete the multiple choice quiz

Follow the instructions at the bottom of the page. Submit your answers for grading, and email your results to my email address ( ). I suggest that you email a copy of the results to yourself as well.

Chapter nine quiz




Return to the AJ101 DESKTOP

Return to Online Courses Web Page



Last Revision: .
Copyright 1996 DB, Rio Hondo College.
All rights reserved.