Even though it is a financial drain on society, extending incarceration time is a good idea because longer prison terms deter people from committing crimes and increasing the incarceration time would prevent that person from committing another crime. Throughout criminal justice laws have been modified for the purpose of ensuring the protection of the citizens of the United States of America. A person who commits a crime will receive punishment and will be prosecuted under the court of law. Prison policies have been written to assist the court in sentences according to a specific crime. The policies are usually to keep criminals in prison, and to deter further criminal activities. Those convicted of a crime may face a longer sentence than a person who is currently serving time for the same crime because of the changes to prison policies. Therefore, the prison policy of convicted armed robbery is under review and must be voted on. Voting for this bill to pass can sometimes have mixed reviews. According to Georgia Law (O.C.G.A. 16-8-41)
Armed robbery is described as, “A person commits the offense of armed robbery when, with intent to commit theft, he or she takes property of another from the person or the immediate presence of another by use of an offensive weapon, or any replica, article, or device having the appearance of such weapon. The offense of robbery by intimidation shall be a lesser included offense in the offense of armed robbery.” The length of sentence for a person who is convicted of armed robbery is different in each state. The current Georgia sentencing is as follows (O.C.G.A. 16-8-41[a]), “A person convicted of the offense of armed robbery shall be punished by death or imprisonment for life or by imprisonment for not less than ten nor more than 20 years.” The bill going to be voted on will be to double the maximum prison term for anyone convicted of armed robbery raising the total possible incarceration time to 40 years.
Before voting on the bill, it will be a good idea for legislative officials to review the Pros and Cons to better understand the positive and negative implications of the sentencing as well as inform the general public of the possible changes to the law so that they are well informed of the possible implications if they commit the crime of armed robbery. Criminals are often deterred from committing crimes because if caught they have to loose freedoms that are granted to the rest of society. With today’s career criminals the current sentencing is something of an annoyance more than a punishment. Most lifelong offenders see the incarceration time now as minor inconvenience due to their familiarization with prison life. Repeat offenders often commit more serious crimes because the aspect of losing a few years of their life is not that scary any more.
Some career criminals are even so bold as to say in court that a 10 year vacation would be good for them. Now if that same criminal knew that committing the same crime would potentially bring double the amount of time that they are incarcerated they might change their outlook on committing the crime. It may also cause more of a shock factor to other career criminals to prevent further crimes. This would answer one of the objectives of this bill which would be to deter further criminal action from career criminals and to help shock other “would be” criminals or persons of society into not committing the offense of armed robbery. The possible implications of this bill on a person who commits the offense or armed robbery would also be positive because it would take a violent person off the street and help control the crime rate for the area.
If a person has made the decision to commit armed robbery after knowing what possible implications it would hold for them that person has made a conscious decision to not be a productive member of society and are a drain to that same society. Once convicted of armed robbery they are removed from society and while still a drain on society they are more controlled. This also keeps the general population safe and reduces crime for that area. While many will see this bill as a good thing one of the main problems is that the person will still be a drain on society. Whether monetarily or through actions these individuals are not productive and will ultimately be a burden on society that someone has to pay for. As we have seen through the history of criminal justice you can help mitigate this drain by having work programs that help reduce the drain they pose. Either through reduced rate manual labor, or setting up the system for longer incarcerated persons to produce food and supplies for themselves.
There are a multitude of ways to help make this potential problem smaller or to reduce it completely. These same programs also help to control the prison population and reduce prison crime rate because of the mental and physical stimulation it provides the prisoner. In conclusion, I do feel that the bill will ultimately be a good thing for legislation to pass and approve. The approval will help deal with potential criminals by deterring them from committing the offense of armed robbery due to the longer prison term. This will also help reduce the career criminal’s influence on society and protect everyone from their life choices. Though there is an issue of a monetary drain still on society I do believe that with the right work programs in place that this can be minimized or eliminated. The offense of armed robbery is very serious and potentially a life threatening crime. It causes emotional scars for the person being robbed and makes others scared to leave their home if it continues to be a problem. Passing a longer sentence on this crime will help to reduce the crime rate for armed robbery and be a positive outcome.