split sentence | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee

Course: Introduction

A split sentence is a type of sentence where the offender spends up to half of the sentence outside of prison under community supervision.

A split sentence is a type of sentence that combines a period of incarceration with community supervision. It is designed to provide a balance between punishment and rehabilitation, allowing the offender to serve part of their sentence outside of prison under the supervision of a probation or parole officer. Split sentences are used to ensure that offenders are held accountable for their actions while also providing them with an opportunity to rehabilitate and reintegrate into society.

Under a split sentence, the offender is typically required to spend a portion of their sentence in prison, followed by a period of community supervision. The length of the prison sentence and the length of the community supervision period may vary depending on the severity of the offense and other factors. The community supervision period typically lasts up to half of the sentence, although this may vary depending on the jurisdiction and the nature of the offense.

During the community supervision period, the offender is required to comply with certain conditions, which may include regular check-ins with a probation or parole officer, maintaining employment or education, participating in drug or alcohol treatment programs, staying away from certain people or places, and avoiding any criminal activity. Failure to comply with these conditions may result in revocation of the community supervision and the offender being returned to prison to serve the remainder of their sentence.

Split sentences are used for a variety of reasons, including reducing prison overcrowding, providing an alternative to incarceration for non-violent offenses, and promoting offender rehabilitation and reintegration. Split sentences allow offenders to maintain their ties to the community, including their relationships with family and friends, and avoid the negative impacts of long-term incarceration.

Split sentences can also have a positive impact on public safety by providing offenders with the support and resources they need to avoid future criminal activity. By requiring offenders to comply with conditions of community supervision, probation, and parole officers can monitor their behavior and intervene if necessary to prevent them from reoffending.

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Last Modified: 04/25/2023

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