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21 Cards in this Set

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the philosophy that those who commit criminal acts should be punished based on the severity of the crime and that no other factors need to be considered
retribution
sanctioning philosophy based on the assertion that criminals deserve to be punished for breaking society's rules; based just on severity of crime
just deserts
strategy of preventing crime through the threat of punishment. assumes that potential criminals will weigh the costs of punishments versus the benefits of the criminal act; therefore, punishments should be severe
deterrence
strategy for preventing crime by detaining wrongdors in prison, thereby separating them from the community and reducing criminal opportunities
incapacitation
philosophy that society is best served when wrongdoers are not simply punished, but provided the resources needed to eliminate criminality from their behavioral patterns
rehabilitation
indeterminate term of incarceration in which a judge determines the minimum and maximum terms of imprisonment; when the minimum term is reached, the prisoner becomes eligible to be paroled
indeterminate sentencing
period of incarceration that is fixed by a sentencing authority and cannot be reduced by judges or other corrections officials
determintate sentencing
reduction in time served by prisoners based on good behavior, conformity to rules and other positive actions
"good time"
legislative attempts to assure that convicts will serve approximately the terms to which they were initially sentenced
truth-in-sentencing laws
investigative report on an offender's background that assists a judge in determining the proper sentence
presentence investigative report
actual offense committed, as opposed to the charge levied by a prosecutor as the result of a plea bargain; judges who make sentencing decisions based on the real offense are often seen as undermining the plea bargain process
"real offense"
any circumstances accompanying the commission of a crime that may justify a lighter sentence
mitigating circumstances
any circumstances accompanying the commission of a crime that may justify a harsher sentence
aggravating circumstances
situation in which those convicted of similar crimes do not receive similar sentences
sentencing disparity
situation in which the length of a sentence appears to be influenced by a defendant's race, gender, economic status, or other factor not directly related to the crime he or she committed
sentencing discrimination
sentencing strategy in which legislators set the average sentence that should be served for any particular crim, leaving judges with the ability to shorten or lengthen the sentence based on the circumstances of each case
presumptive sentencing
legislatively determined guidelines that judges are required to follow when sentencing those convicted of specific crimes; those guidelines limit judicial discretion
sentencing guidelines
stipulation in many federal and state sentencing guidelines that allows a judge to adjust his or her sentencing decision based on the special circumstances of a particular case
departure
statutorily determined punishments that must be applied to those who are convicted of specific crimes
mandatory sentencing guidelines
statutes that require lengthy prison sentences for those who are convicted of multiple felonies
habitual offender laws
the use of the death penalty to punish wrongdoers for certain crimes
capital punishment