Chapter 3: Control Philosophy and Criminal Justice Policy
• Deterrence and rehabilitation thve traditionally guided criminal justice.
• Deterrence emerged in the 18 century, where rehabilitation became popular in the early
• The selective incapacitation model focuses primarily on those individuals labeled
• The justice model is probably the dominant criminal justice policy today as it forms the
basis of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
• Crime Control in Canada
• One of the most common complaints made against the criminal justice system is that it is
too soft on criminals.
• People believe that criminals are granted parole then commit more crimes, pleabargaining
is common, sentences are too lenient, and police officers give to many warnings instead of
• Many believe that social problems are the greatest contributor to rising crime rates and
that these problems can’t be fixed by hardening the justice system.
• Crime Control Philosophy and Criminal Justice Policy
• Four main philosophies guide our criminal justice system: the justice model, deterrence,
selective incapacitation, and rehabilitation.
• Rehabilitation focuses on the criminal actor, so it emphasizes treating most convicted
• The other three philosophies focus on the criminal act.
• The justice model focuses exclusively on the criminal act committed by the alleged
perpetrator, with punishment based on the seriousness of the offence.
• The deterrence and selective incapacitation philosophies focus on the act but for the
purpose of preventing future crimes.
• The Justice Model
• The first important document to offer support for the justice model appeared in the Struggle
• This recommended that the criminal justice system be guided by the ideals of justice,
fairness and the need to protect human rights and dignity.
• One of the most important findings was that the sentence needed to fit the offence not the
• The most influential argument for a justice model came from the book Doing Justice, which
proposed the creation of sentencing guidelines based on the seriousness of the crime and
the prior record of the offender.
• The first criminal justice systems based on the justice model emerged from the United States during the 1970’s and 80’s.
• The Criminal Sanction
• According to the justice model, the essential factor is to punish offenders fairly and with
justice through lengths of confinement proportionate to the gravity of the crime.
• The punishment must be proportionate to the crime; the most serious crimes deserve the
most severe punishments.
• The justice model assumes that a direct relationship exists between the seriousness of the
offence and the severity of the punishment.
• The justice model focuses on the offender’s prior criminal record.
• It is very hard to determine the different severity between crimes.
• One major contribution of the justice model to the area of punishment is that it supports
can created alternative sanctions, such as serving a sentence within the community.
• Community service orders are usually favored for many first and second offenders.
• Dangerous violent offenders will always be incarcerated for the longest periods of time,
even if they have no prior convictions.
• The justice model guarantees due process rights for all individuals accused of committing
• Anyone charged with an offence is presumed to be factually innocent before proven guilty.
• The Operations of a Justice ModelBased Criminal Justice System
• The main concern of the justice model is to eliminate or control discretion within the
criminal justice system exercised by prosecutors, the judiciary and parole boards.
• Supporters of this model believe that the main barrier in justice is the discretion held by
main agencies within the system.
• The role of the police is very important because their decisions affect all other groups
involved in the later stages of the crime control process.
• Allowing some plea bargaining but to control it using strict guidelines to govern its use as it
allows prosecutors to bargain with the accused about other crimes.
• Supporters of the justice model argue that the problem with traditional sentencing
approach is that the judge has too much discretion, which could lead to concerns with
• To eliminate this problem, the justice model favors a determinate sentencing approach,
where all judges are required to follow sentencing guidelines.
• The seriousness of the crime and the blameworthiness of the offender are the most
significant criteria for determining the type of correctional facility or diversion program to
which an offender is sent.
• In Canada, the exact length of an inmate’s sentence is determined by the parole board
rather than a judge.
• The justice models solution is to remove the parole board all together, but this could lead
to prison overcrowding.
• To prevent overcrowding, shorter sentences would have to be created. • Deterrence
• Deterrence is the oldest of the four major criminal justice philosophies.
• Its two reformers are Italian Cesare Beccaria and English Jeremy Bentham.
• Both argued that the goal of the criminal justice system should be to prevent future crimes
by individuals who have already been caught (special deterrence) and by members of the
broader society who might contemplate committing a crime (general deterrence).
• Beccaria suggested that sentences should reflect the harm done to the state and the
• Today, the deterrence model assumes that people participate in an action only after
carefully considering the risks and the benefits.
• Punishment is supposed to induce compliance with the law since people fear punishment
and don’t want to jeopardize their conformity.
• Many offenders act on impulse.
• The Criminal Sanction
• Deterrence is actually the threat of legal punishment or fear of physical and material
deprivation through legally imposed sanctions.
• Supporters of this model hope that an individual contemplating a crime will be deterred
because of the potential to get caught.
• This model emphasizes efficient operations such as reduction in court delays and the time