For many years, the sentencing process of the criminal justice system sought to achieve four goals: deterrence, rehabilitation, incapacitation of the offender, and retribution for society and the victim. The achievement of these goals was implemented in the majority of jurisdictions through imposition of an indeterminate sentence and discretionary release by an administrative body-traditionally a parole board. This approach allowed courts to announce relatively long sentences as a deterrent to future criminal behavior and to placate the victim and society, but tempered the punishment by allowing early release on an individual basis as soon as the offender had been rehabilitated.
Anthony P. Giorno,
Sentencing in Criminal Cases: How Great the Need for Reform?,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
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