Intermediate Sanctions

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Introduction

In criminal justice, intermediate sanctions refer to a range of non-incarceration penalties that fall between traditional probation and imprisonment.

These sanctions are designed to provide alternatives to incarceration for offenders who pose a moderate risk to public safety.

Intermediate sanctions can include various penalties, such as intensive supervision probation, electronic monitoring, community service, restitution, and drug or alcohol treatment programs. These sanctions aim to provide punishment and rehabilitation while allowing offenders to remain in the community and maintain employment, family relationships, and other social ties.

Intermediate sanctions are typically imposed for offenses that are less serious than those that would warrant imprisonment, such as nonviolent drug offenses, property crimes, or probation violations. Intermediate sanctions can help reduce prison overcrowding and save taxpayer money by providing alternatives to incarceration.

However, intermediate sanctions can also be controversial, as some critics argue that they may be too lenient and fail to punish offenders or protect public safety adequately. Others argue that intermediate sanctions can be effective if properly implemented and accompanied by appropriate supervision and support services.

Overall, intermediate sanctions are an important part of the criminal justice system because they provide alternatives to incarceration and allow for a more nuanced and individualized approach to punishment and rehabilitation.

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Last Modified: 03/09/2023


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