There are several reasons forrapid changes in sentencing structures and basically all of them are veryimportant and valid points.

In the reading it lists about six different causesof rapid changes. One cause that was listed was “Experimental and statisticalstudies of judicial sentencing found substantial disparity and both racial andclass discrimination. Such inconsistencies and disparities fostered theconclusion that sentencing practices were unfair. (Sentencing disparity meansthat offenders committing the same crimes under the same circumstances aregiven different sentences.)” Another cause that was listed was prison uprisingswhich indicated that inmates did not particularly like the idea ofrehabilitation and the reality of the prison environment.” Just to name a few(Allen, Latessa, and Ponder 2013) In 1970, indeterminate sentencing started to fade away and becomeobsolete because “rehabilitation ideal was challenged, both empirically andideologically, which undermined the rational of the indeterminate sentence’sparole after rehabilitation corollary.” (Allen, Latessa, and Ponder2013)  “Per APECSEC they believe that theindeterminate sentencing can be manipulated by the inmate.

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They believe thatthe inmate can easily manipulate the system by behaving and being a modelprisoner without actually being rehabilitated.” (

A series of law enforcement and sentencing policychanges of the “tough on crime” era resulted in dramatic growth inincarceration. (  Indeterminatesentencing received so much criticism, that most people felt that it was tooharsh, unethical, inadequate to the people and the crimes that were being committedand above all unfair to the point where they could not differentiate thedifference between the parole boards being fair of simply judgmental.  “Harsh sentencing laws like mandatoryminimums, combined with cutbacks in parole release, keep people in prison forlonger periods of time. The National Research Council reported that half of the222% growth in the state prison population between 1980 and 2010 was due to anincrease of time served in prison for all offenses.”  (  One thing that we first must bear in mind is that, incarceration can be at timesineffective at reducing certain kinds of crimes.

For an example crimes that arecommitted by youths, and most of them are committed in groups, and drug crimesis another perfect example. When we lock up people for these particular typesof crimes, they are easily replaced on the streets by other people looking forquick and fast income or basically struggling with addiction so these types ofcrimes won’t be affected by sentencing structures and or any changes.  Even though incarceration should be aboutrehabilitating prisoners and releasing them back into society as productivemembers, unfortunately it has become about politics.

Those running for officealways want to appear to be tough on crime, and indeterminate sentencingappears to some to be too soft. Allowing prisoners to earn their freedom beforethey have served their maximum sentence is not punishment in the eyes of thosethat believe prisoners should be locked up and made to do hard time.


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