Determinate and Indeterminate Sentencing


Determinateand Indeterminate Sentencing

Determinateand Indeterminate Sentencing

Determinatesentence is a prison sentence with a defined period of time, whichthe convicted person will spend in jail or a correctional facility.The significant concept of this sentence is that this time cannot bealtered by a parole board (Abadinsky,2012).A sentence of one year in a state jail is determinate. This isbecause the convict will spend one year, and no more than that behindbars. The purpose of determinate sentence is to give a time periodthat the convict must serve and blocks any possibility of reductionof his or her jail term since the release dates are objective andspecific.

Onthe other hand, an indeterminate sentence contains a range of yearsin which the convict will be imprisoned for and does not provide aspecific length of a sentence. This means that the sentence does notprovide specific release dates. The main concept of the indeterminatesentence is the provision left to the parole board to review theprogress of a convict and determine his release dates (Champion,2008). The purpose of the indeterminate sentence is to allow for achange of behavior of the convict and giving the parole board achange to monitor this achievement.

Whileeach of the two serve different purposes and are effective inpunishing, indeterminate sentencing is a better model for behaviorrehabilitation. This is because an indeterminate sentence provides anopportunity for a person to change his or her behavior and so reducethe time spent in prison (Abadinsky,2012).This is made possible by the opportunity provided by an indeterminatesentence to the parole board to determine the release dates of aprisoner based on his or her behavior change.


Abadinsky,H. (2012). Probationand parole: Theory and practice (11th ed.).Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall

Champion,D. (2008). Sentencing:A Reference Handbook.California: ABC-CLIO