Empirical research evidence is critical when making decisions pertaining to criminal justice. Through proper research, it becomes easier to come up with better practices, programs, and policies (PROJECT, 2010). The results obtained from empirical research help in making essential decisions on various interventions to use. Interventions developed from empirical research helps in serving the public interests efficiently (Petersilia& Wilson, 2011).
Researchers have played a vital role in the US sentencing policy. Specifically, in determining when a sentencing archive the goal of incapacitation, rehabilitation, and deterrence (Petersilia& Wilson, 2011). Researchers have shown that rehabilitation does not reduce the chance of recidivism (Bardach& Patashnik, 2015). This research helped the sentencing policy to shift from indeterminate to determinate sentencing. Treatment participation was removed as a significant consideration, and objective-based sentencing was developed.
After discrediting rehabilitation, researches started to gather information on how a sentence can meet the goals of deterrence and incapacitation (Petersilia& Wilson, 2011). Based on information concerning the widespread presence of crime, researchers have identified that there has been a decrease in the levels of crime which have been brought by sentencing the offenders for a certain length of time (Gutwillig, 2014). This has led to lengthy sentencing of drug dealers, especially those thoughts of selling cocaine (PROJECT, 2010). This model has greatly assisted policymakers in coming up with targeted sentencing approaches to crime.
Other research has been carried out concerning overcrowding in prisons (Bardach& Patashnik, 2015). This is meant to assist administrators in handling probations operations, incarceration, and parole given limited resources. Researchers found that classifying inmates according to the level of crime while incarcerated. And the risk of recidivism if the prisoner is set free (Gutwillig, 2014). Researchers have used historical data to predict the number of inmates in future years, which has helped administrators to be prepared. Through this research, various states have come up with a system of classifying prisons. Prisons are termed as a minimum, medium, or maximum.
In conclusion, empirical-based research needs to be applied when determining policy and practices to be put in place when dealing with crime. The interventions provided by research are sure and help in serving the interests of the public as well as discouraging crime.
Bardach, E., & Patashnik, E. M. (2015). A practical guide for policy analysis: The eightfold path to more effective problem solving.
Petersilia, J., & Wilson, J. Q. (2011). Crime and public policy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Gutwillig, s. (2014). ANNUAL REPORT 2014. Newyork: ADVENTURE WORKS PRESS.
PROJECT, T. S. (2010, OCTOBER 20). FEDERAL CRACK COCAINE SENTENCING. THE SENTENCING PROJECT, p. 1.
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