Table of Contents
- Intermediate Sanctions Definition
- Types of Intermediate Sanctions
- What is the Purpose of Intermediate Sanctions?
- Lesson Summary
Intermediate sanctions are punitive options that do not include jail time or probation. Intermediate sanctions are alternative paths to rehabilitation given to those who are not in jail or on probation, though they are also intended to rehabilitate the convicted offender. Intermediate sanctions are meant to help the offender continue to be part of their community, reduce overcrowding in prisons, and lessen the chance for recidivism. For example, an offender may be sentenced to participate in community service. This allows the offender to make up for his or her crime by helping the community. Intermediate sanctions can also help reduce the number of parolees a given case manager has on their caseload.
There are four main types of intermediate sanctions:
Graduated sanctions probation is a structured response to a misbehaving offender while under supervision. If the offender's behavior is deemed non-compliant by supervisors, they take punitive action against the prisoner using graduated sanctions. Generally, there is an incremental escalation in the punitive actions taken toward offenders. For example, if a parolee misses a meeting with his parole officer, they may be required to pay a fine. If a parolee misses several meetings with their parole officer, they may have their parole revoked and sent to jail. On the other hand, a graduated reward system may be used for good behavior. More freedoms and privileges can be rewarded to offenders that exhibit positive behaviors. Lessened community service hours, fewer meetings, or a reduced house arrest sentence could be awarded for positive steps toward rehabilitation. This punishment and rewards system is meant to inhibit negative behaviors and foster positive behaviors.
Intermediate sanctions are important for the following reasons:
Though intermediate sanctions can be less expensive than incarceration, intermediate sanctions are not a one-size-fits-all solution. Intermediate sanctions such as house arrest still allow enough freedom for the offender to plan or be an accomplice to crimes. For example, a drug dealer on house arrest could still sell drugs from the house without arousing suspicion from those monitoring the device. Public figures are also more likely to be privy to intermediate sanctions than those that are lesser-known. There is still some debate about whether or not intermediate sanctions reduce recidivism or not.
Intermediate sanctions are alternative paths to rehabilitation for non-violent offenders. Types of intermediate sanctions include day fines, intensive supervision programs, electronic monitoring or house arrest, or shock incarceration (also known as boot camp). Often, these alternative measures allow the convicted offender to act as part of the community during the rehabilitation process. Proponents of intermediate sanctions claim that they prevent overcrowding in prisons, lighten the caseloads of parole officers, and reduce recidivism, though opponents argue the effectiveness of intermediate sanctions on the rate of recidivism.
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Intermediate sanctions are alternative paths to rehabilitation for people who are accused of committing crimes. These steps toward rehabilitation do not include incarceration.
The four types of intermediate sanctions are day fines, intensive supervision programs, electronic monitoring or house arrest, and shock incarceration or boot camp.
Intermediate sanctions can be used to rehabilitate non-violent offenders in cases where incarceration may not be necessary. They can be useful for preventing overcrowding in prisons, overwhelming parole caseloads, and allowing the accused offender to be a part of the community while taking steps toward rehabilitation.
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