Corrections looks at the correctional system and offers arguments for and against the practice of the laws and policies that comprise corrections, from parole and probation to imprisonment, to the application of the death penalty. The 20 included chapters, written by eminent scholars and experts in the fields of criminology, police science, law, sociology, psychology, and other disciplines, take on such contested topics as what the goals of the correctional system should be (deterrence, rehabilitation, retribution, or something else?) and how they should be achieved; who should make these decisions; and how to balance the goals of the correctional system with the civil rights of the inmates. Prison conditions and the treatment of prisoners, as well as the changing definition of cruel and unusual punishment, are also examined.The SeriesEach volume consists of approximately 20 chapters offering succinct pro/con examinations, and Recommended Readings conclude each chapter, highlighting different approaches to or perspectives on the issue at hand. As a set, these volumes provide perfect reference support for students writing position papers in undergraduate courses spanning the Criminal Justice curriculum. Each title is approximately 350 pages in length.
Chapter 11: Life Sentence
Life sentences have always been utilized in the United States. They are the most severe prison sentences possible, and in the 15 U.S. states without the death penalty, a life sentence is the most severe punishment a convicted defendant can receive. Beginning in the 1970s, the number of inmates serving life sentences in the United States increased dramatically. The increased use of life sentences has been met with support by some, but also with contention by those who oppose their use.
Types of Life Sentences
There are two broad types of life sentences: life with the possibility of parole and life without the possibility of parole. The former means an inmate can be paroled at some point in the future. Typically, after serving a ...