Justice Sentencing Model
David Fogel’s “Justice Model” tries to achieve a high level of compatibility among different aspects of the criminal justice system. The scholar suggests that rehabilitation should not be used as the correctional process because justice is deserved for each person who commits a crime. Under an equitable sentencing system, every offender should be punished for his or her crime. It means that people should receive a specific punishment for similar offenses. He also discourages the use of parole and avers that the rehabilitative treatment model should be voluntary. The system is necessary to eradicate gross inequities in the prevailing criminal justice system, especially in sentencing and the use of parole.
Specific Goals and Challenges of the Model
The justice model has various goals. Firstly, it seeks to make the criminal justice system more consistent and equitable. It also strives to ensure that offenders are held accountable and pay for their crimes. Every person must be responsible for deciding to commit a crime. Another goal is to remove rehabilitation and parole because they eliminate the aspect of the deserved punishment for crime. However, the model has some challenges in its implementation and use. For example, the justice model ignores other factors underlying criminal behavior (Rutkowski, 1976). For instance, although two people could commit a similar type of crime, the circumstances surrounding the act could differ. Another challenge of the model is that it does away with rehabilitation and community-based corrections, such as parole, which provide effective alternatives to imprisonment, especially during the age when the country suffers the challenge of prison overpopulation. Besides, the model ignores the issues that result from the irrationality of criminal justice actors, but only on the mode of sentencing. The problems weaken the model and its application to the criminal justice system, which creates the need for an alternative view of crime and punishment in the country.
David Fogel and other scholars provided support for the efficacy and applicability of the model in real-life situations. The prison or offender classification method is the earliest indicator of its use and effectiveness (Fogel & Ohlin, 1979). The model focuses on having a consistent system of categorizing criminals, depending on their offenses. The system also relies on risk assessment to place the offender at a particular level of corrections. Notably, the system places individuals together based on their crime, although it does not rule out the use of rehabilitation and parole (Rutkowski, 1976). Illinois was the first state in the country to try some aspect of the justice model and increased the number of prisons to contain prisoners (McAnany, Merritt, & Tromanhauser, 1975). The model focused on the punitive philosophy, where all offenders receive the kind of punishment they deserve for their crimes. However, the effectiveness of the model would depend on whether the whole country would agree to a standard punitive model for sentencing and punishment. It is most likely that some states would prefer a different system because of their diverse legal frameworks.
Effectiveness of the Model
The model is useful in making the justice system highly consistent by creating a fair and equitable system of punishing offenders. It would remove the inconsistent across the country. For instance, the model would eradicate a situation in which an offender in Illinois would have to wait for years for his or her sentencing. At the same time, another offender would receive a five-year prison sentence for a similar crime. However, the effectiveness of the model in the United States and elsewhere is limited by challenges, such as the lack of resources and the continued use of the rehabilitative treatment model. Without parole, it would mean that more prisoners would have to stay in prison without considering their change in behavior (Haney, 2011). The high number of prisoners, mainly from drug-related crimes, already overwhelms the United States’ prisons. A system that imprisons all offenders without any chance of parole would only exacerbate the challenges related to overpopulation in prisons (Hudson, 2016). Besides, depriving some prisoners of rehabilitation could be detrimental to their mental health outcomes. They could also become a security threat to society upon reintegration.
Viability of the Model
The justice model is not viable in addressing the current challenges facing correctional managers in the United States. The cost of imprisonment in the country continues to increase, and the current budget is severely constrained. The corrections resources and services are overstretched because of the high number of prisoners, primarily due to the war on drugs. Therefore, a viable model to address the challenge should embrace alternatives to imprisonment, such as community-based corrections (Hudson, 2016). Previous research supports the efficacy of parole and the provision in freeing up the prison space for inmates who deserve prison time (Haney, 2011). Another reason why the model is impracticable for the country’s justice system is the lack of rehabilitation. Many prisoners in the country require effective treatment to overcome criminology tendencies. Research supports the observation that rehabilitation helps prisoners with mental health challenges, especially in the change of behaviors (Hudson, 2016). Lack of rehabilitation means that many offenders will be reintegrated into the community without addressing the problem that led them to commit a crime. As a result, the model would fail to address the cost of recidivism in the country. The challenge means that some offenders would be rearrested immediately after release for repeated crimes.
Specific Philosophical or Social Issues
The failure of the justice model to address the current challenges in the United States is based on various social and philosophical issues. Firstly, the model does not address the subject of the mental health basis of rehabilitation. While some criminals commit crime out free will, some have underlying psychiatric conditions and require treatment. Therefore, the prison should avoid being entirely for punishment (Haney, 2011). Secondly, the fact that two people commit a similar crime does not suggest that their situations are necessarily identical. Therefore, the use of fixed sentences will ignore the diverse circumstances of offenders in the country. Therefore, when sentencing and punishing offenders, it is necessary to assess their unique conditions and the factors behind their criminology behavior. The equitable model will be ineffective in fighting crime in the country. Finally, the model ignores the role of community-based corrections, which are critical for minor offenses and to free up prisons by releasing offenders before the expiry of a sentence based on behavioral changes (Hudson, 2016). These factors support the need to retain a system that punishes, but also rehabilitates offenders on a need basis.
As is evident from the analysis, David Fogel’s “Justice Model” proposes the adoption of an equitable criminal justice system in the United States. The model indicates the need for equal sentencing for similar crimes. The proposer believes that the model would eradicate the current inconsistencies and inequalities in sentencing and imprisonment. However, the model is ineffective because it ignores the importance of rehabilitation and parole in the justice system. Therefore, a viable model should balance punishment with rehabilitation to meet the needs of offenders and society, as well as to reduce the current prison population.
Fogel, D., & Ohlin, L. (1979). We are the living proof: The justice model for corrections (p. 1). Cincinnati: Anderson.
Haney, C. (2011). Politicizing crime and punishment: Redefining justice to fight the war on prisoners. W. Va. L. Rev., 114, 373.
Hudson, B. (2016). Justice Through punishment?: Critique of the justice model of criminal conventions. Macmillan International Higher Education.
McAnany, P. D., Merritt, F. S., & Tromanhauser, E. (1975). Illinois Reconsiders Flat Time: An Analysis of the Impact of the Justice Model. Chi.-Kent L. Rev., 52, 621.
Rutkowski, C. P. (1976, February 16). Fogel’s ‘justice model’: Stop trying to reform. Punish, but treat all alike. Retrieved from https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0QmECZPnLPhTmRQd2hWeTlyYlE/view