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Prison and Non-Prison

Prison and Non-Prison

Once a crime is committed, and the offender is guilty, there is a range of sentences the judge can choose from to serve as a punishment depending on a few things such as the crime committed, the number of times the offender has been charged with the same crime, whether the offender was the main offender or an accessory and so on. A criminal sentence depends on the grounds to be determined, such as location and equal justice notions (Ulmer & Johnson, 2004).

These sentences are categorized into prison and non-prison sentences. Prison sentences are those in which the offender is obliged to go to prison for some time or for life imprisonment after being found guilty of a crime. In contrast, non-prison sentences can be termed as punishments out of prison. Still, the criminal is obliged to follow the rules of the given punishment until the given period is over. There are three imprisonment sentences: mandatory, maximum, and minimum sentences. Mandatory sentences must be inflicted regardless of any circumstances. In contrast, maximum sentences are the most severe penalties for an offence and reflect the maximum sentence received by a prisoner (Kaeble, n.d.). Minimum sentences refer to the minimum time an offender can stay in prison before being released.

Furthermore, non-prison sentences do not mean that they are soft on crime because they are out of prison since they can be quite difficult and demanding. Examples can include probation, community service, inpatient rehabilitation, fines, curfews, house arrest, or location monitoring, where the offender is tracked through federal location monitoring. In some cases, the offender must not leave the house unless attending work or school and much more. If the offender breaks the rules related to these sentences, they will be committing another crime and have to be judged and punished for it.

In conclusion, the law has the authority to choose what type of sentence the offender deserves depending on several factors, and the offenders must be on their best behaviour to avoid more sentences.


Ulmer, J., & Johnson, B. (2004). Sentencing In Context: A Multilevel Analysis. Criminology, 42(1), 137-178. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-9125.2004.tb00516.x

Kaeble, D. Time served in state prison, 2018.


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Identify and define the different types of prison and non-prison sentencing options and examine their effectiveness.

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