Key Assignment Draft
In those states with the three strikes laws, any person who has 2 felony strikes and commits another felony, whether it be violent or not, can be required to serve a sentence of 25 years to life.
Look at the case of Ewing v. California:
Ewing v. California
Click on the PDF link next to the case title.
The defendant had his third strike when he committed grand theft at a golf course in Los Angeles County. This was not a violent crime but he was subject to the three strikes laws. He appealed this case up to the United States Supreme Courtand lost.
The public has always been worried about violent crime, but just how worried are citizens about nonviolent crime? With mandatory sentencing, society will have many older inmates within the prison system. In the criminal justice community, it is known that inmates age out of crime. Can you imagine a 68-year-old man climbing in a window or jumping an 8-foot fence? By keeping these older inmates incarcerated, is this a disservice to society?
State prosecutors have the discretion to lower the charge so that the third offense would not be considered a third strike. For this assignment, you are a policy maker in your state legislature. You are concerned about the heavy tax burden on your constituents. The cost of the actual running of the prison and costs of personnel will rise.
You are also up for re-election, and the feedback that you have received from your constituents has shown that they are dissatisfied with the law that now stands. They are afraid of violent crimes, not just felonies, and are very aware that the last crime committed by the perpetrator does not have to be a violent crime. They are also worried about the use of their tax dollars to incarcerate nonviolent offenders.
Address the following in 5?7 pages:
Develop a policy regarding the three strikes laws in the State of California. Address the following in your policy:
What alternatives would be placed in the law to give the state prosecutor more freedom to manipulate the third strike?
Many prosecutors load up charges against defendants to force a plea bargain. What can be done to limit or prevent this practice?
Will your policy allow multiple counts arising from the same incident to count as multiple strikes? (For instance, a man arrested for aggravated robbery because of the use of a weapon is charged with aggravated robbery and a felony gun possession charge. Should that count as 1 strike or 2?)
If one of the alternatives was supervised probation, how would you convince the public that it would be more cost-effective for the person to be supervised than incarcerated?
Show the public where you would be saving money by not incarcerating the perpetrator.
If brought up in the legislature to be an amendment to the law, could this be grandfathered in to help older inmates?
Could this have a backlash from the public, or would they approve? How? Why?
Once you are finished with the policy, draft an executive summary of the policy to be used for political decision making.
Use 6?10 scholarly resources to support the provisions of your policy. Dictionaries and encyclopedias are not scholarly sources. Look at federal and state legislation and court cases.
Be sure to reference all sources using APA style.
Please submit your assignment.
For assistance with your assignment, please use your text, Web resources, and all course materials. Find resources on how to write academically and use APA citations, including an example of Masters-level writing, in the Writing Style Guide for Masters Students
Policy Proposal: Reforming the Three Strikes Law in California ? OUTLINE
Student Name Santayna Folkes
Institution Affiliation Colorado Technical University
Professor Sonia Stovall
Course Name CJUS650
Stanford Criminal Justice Center (2018), the Three Strikes Law is a sentencing law that imposes mandatory and extended sentences on individuals convicted of certain crimes, usually felonies, on three or more separate occasions. This law has been implemented in many states, including California. However, concerns have been raised regarding its effectiveness in reducing crime, its impact on the prison system, and the cost of incarcerating non-violent offenders.
In the case of Ewing v. California, the defendant had his third strike when he committed grand theft, a non-violent crime, and was subject to the Three Strikes Law. This case highlights whether mandatory sentencing for non-violent crimes effectively reduces crime and whether or not it is a good use of taxpayer money to incarcerate older, non-violent offenders.
This policy proposal seeks to reform the Three Strikes Law in California, which requires individuals who have committed three felonies to be sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. The law has resulted in many incarcerated individuals for non-violent offences, leading to a heavy tax burden on Californians. The proposed policy aims to give state prosecutors more discretion in charging individuals and reduce the number of non-violent offenders in the prison system. The policy also seeks to limit the practice of prosecutors “loading up” charges against defendants and provide alternatives to incarceration, such as supervised probation.
Increased discretion for state prosecutors: The policy proposes to give state prosecutors more freedom to manipulate the third strike by allowing them to lower the charge so that it would not be considered a third strike. This would help reduce the number of incarcerated non-violent offenders (Austin 2018).
Limiting the practice of loading up charges: To prevent prosecutors from forcing plea bargains by loading up charges, the policy proposes to limit the number of counts that can arise from the same incident to count as a single strike.
Alternative sentencing options: The policy proposes to provide alternative sentencing options, such as supervised probation, for non-violent offenders who have committed a third strike. This would be more cost-effective than incarcerating the offender and could be used to convince the public of the policy’s benefits.
Cost savings: By reducing the number of non-violent offenders in the prison system, the policy would save taxpayers money by reducing the cost of running prisons and personnel costs.
Grandfathering for older inmates: The policy proposes to grandfather in the new law to help older inmates who have been incarcerated for non-violent offences. This would help to reduce the number of older inmates in the prison system, who are unlikely to re-offend (Feld 2003).
Public approval: The policy would be subject to public approval, and the proposal would need to be presented to the public to emphasise the benefits of reducing the number of non-violent offenders in the prison system.
The proposed policy seeks to reform the Three Strikes Law in California by providing state prosecutors with more discretion, reducing the number of non-violent offenders in the prison system, and providing alternative sentencing options. By doing so, the policy aims to save taxpayers money and reduce the heavy tax burden of running prisons. The policy would need to be presented to the public to emphasise the benefits of reducing the number of non-violent offenders in the prison system.
“Three Strikes and You’re Out: A Review of State Legislation.” National Conference of State Legislatures, 2022..
Austin, J., & Krisberg, B. (2018). Reducing Mass Incarceration: Lessons from the Deinstitutionalization of Mental Hospitals in the 1960s. Criminology & Public Policy, 17(1), 37-44.
Feld, B. C. (2003). Unintended Consequences of Three Strikes. Annual Review of Sociology, 29, 215-241.
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