Truth In Sentencing Laws Deter Crime

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Pages: 8

Truth-in-sentencing debate
Learning Team B
November 26, 2012
Deana Bohenek

Truth-In-Sentencing Debate Opening Argument Truth-in-sentencing laws do not deter crime. The federal truth-in-sentencing law guarantees that certain violent offenders will serve at least 85% of their sentence (Schmalleger, 2012). However, if the offender acts accordingly in prison, he or she can attain parole for good behavior. What about the victims? Victims do not want to hear this. If an offender is sentenced for 30 years, the victim wants justice and wants to see the full 30 years served. They do not want to see the offender getting
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The Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report from January 1999 indicates that prior to the TIS laws violent offenders barely served half the length of their sentences. What kind of message did that send to the convicted or potential criminals? With the availability of TIS laws, criminal justice administrators can build public confidence by ensuring that the just punishment is served to anyone breaking the law. In the article written by Joanna Shepherd published in the Journal of Law and Economics, she makes this statement: "Using a country-level data set, empirical results confirm that TIS laws deter violent offenders, increase the probability of arrest, and increase maximum imposed prison sentences. TIS laws decrease murders by 16%, aggravated assaults by 12%, robberies by 24%, rapes by 12%, and larcenies by 3%" (Shepherd, 2002, p. 509). Today, more states are implementing the TIS laws and abolishing parole and indeterminate sentencing, demonstrating that the state legislature believes in this uniform application of justice processes and effectiveness of these laws in crime prevention. This information clearly shows that TIS laws are very effective in deterring crime by ensuring the stern and just punishment for offenders and sending the clear message to potential criminals that criminal behavior will be punished by lengthy