An indeterminate sentence is a system in which every crime has a minimum and a maximum time to serve as punishment for the individual that committed that crime, and this will depend on the individual needs of the individual himself. Judges are free to pick a lot of options such as fines, probation, imprisonment and so on, and parole boards usually decide the releasing dates.
Indeterminate sentencing has sparked a lot of debate and in this article, we are going to look at the pros and cons of this system, so that you can be a little more informed about the issue.
List of Pros of Indeterminate Sentencing
1. It Rehabilitates Offenders.
The whole principle behind indeterminate sentencing is to rehabilitate offenders. Taking into account that each individual has its very own needs and that it needs to be different for everyone, the goal with this system is to fully rehabilitate individuals back into society.
2. Early Release Is Possible.
With indeterminate sentencing, it is all down to the individual and how he behaves. Prison officials are usually pro indeterminate sentencing because it shows the offenders that their good behavior is going to be acknowledged and rewarded, while their bad behavior is going to be punished. As such, if they show good behavior consistently, it is possible for them to be eligible for early release and to live their lives as free individuals.
3. Everything Counts.
In order to determine the sentence of an individual, everything is taken into account, and not only the crime itself. Things such as criminal history and conduct while in prison are going to add up to rehabilitation efforts to determine whether or not an individual deserves to be free or not. This makes offenders think about their own conduct and start behaving properly in society.
List of Cons of Indeterminate Sentencing
1. Too Much Power on Parole Boards.
This type of system puts too much power in the parole board, and that can lead do discriminatory decision. In fact, such a thing has happened in the past. As seen from our past experiences, minorities were usually given harsher decision when compared to non-minorities. Connections usually played a huge role on the decisions the parole boards had.
2. The System Can Be Manipulated.
An offender that truly understands the system can make his way to freedom through pure manipulation. If he is to behave himself properly while in prison and show people that he is willing to be a good citizen outside, he just might get an early release. If he faked everything, however, this early release is just going to release a criminal into society due to the flaws that indeterminate sentencing has.