Incarceration Vs. Alternative Sanctions Essay

Incarceration Vs. Alternative Sanctions Essay

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Incarceration Versus Alternative Sanctions

Incarceration and alternative sanctions are both methods of reducing crime and recidivism. They are meant to be punishments for the offender and deterrents for other possible offenders. Incarceration is when an offender is placed in a jail or prison with time to think and repent on their crime. With incarceration the offender will suffer several consequences after their time is served, as Skye 's defines as deprivation of liberty, heterosexual relationships, security, services, and autonomy (Thistlethwaite 2014). “When Patrick Henry addressed the Virginia House of Burgesses and declared, “Give me liberty or give me death!” he unwittingly identified the perfect penalty. Incarceration gives the convicted offender neither liberty nor death” (Travis 2012: 313). They also lose some of their rights, family and community ties, public services, and they will also have trouble finding employment and housing. Depending on the conviction status the offender will either go to jail or prison. Jail is where an offender will go before they are convicted as a temporary holding place. Jails are usually heterosexual and local facilities. Prisons are where the offender is placed after conviction. They will repent about their crime in these same sex housing facilities run by the state or federal government (Travis III 2012).
Alternative sanctions are another form of punishment that allow the offender to rehabilitate or be treated. There are several types of sanctions that give the offender some freedom to change the person they once were and get back up on their feet. Probation is a way of releasing an offender, but with restrictions. The offender must be drug tested, complete activity logs, and they mus...


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...rrent state of correction seems to be moving towards alternative sanctions over incarceration. Alternative sanctions are cheaper for the government and require less staff than prisons and jails do (“Sentences” 2016). They also are making a positive impact on the offender and changing their mindset on crime. These sanctions offer more rehabilitation and treatment services along with maintaining family and community ties with the offender (“Sentences” 2016). They seem to be effective in the sense that they are reducing crime and the public also supports the idea of alternative sanctions over incarceration (“Sentences” 2016). Depending on the crime, there are cases where alternatives should and should not be used due to a possible threat in the community (Thistlethwaite 2014). Alternative sanctions are forward looking for the offender and can lead to a safer community.

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