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Technocorrection Over Incarceration?


Those instinctively opposed to incarceration as a punishment are increasingly drawn to technocorrections as a sentencing alternative.  Professor Doug Berman is a fan of technocorrections as a way to scale back on imprisonment per se, not to mention its significant costs.  Accordingly, Prof. Berman occasionally publishes a post about the virtues of technocorrections on his always interesting blog, Sentencing Law and Policy.  This is one example.

I have two problems with technocorrections.  One is that it fails to provide the punishing (and therefore deterrent) value of a prison sentence; it was my experience as an AUSA that prison is the only thing defendants really pay attention to.

The second problem with technocorrections is that they are easily defeated, sometimes with disastrous results.  From Fox News:

A convicted Californian sex offender, who cut an electronic tracking device from his leg and assaulted four women in 2010, was Tuesday sentenced to 195 years in prison, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

A San Diego jury last month found 34-year-old Leonard Scroggins guilty of seven felonies -- including committing a forcible lewd act on a child, attempted kidnapping, robbery and assault with a deadly weapon.

The jury found that Scroggins, who already had a rape conviction, cut a GPS tracking bracelet off his ankle on May 17, 2010 and drove to the San Diego area, where he tried to rob a teenage girl and kidnap a woman a day later.

A day after that, the transient from California's Napa County stole a woman's purse and then used a knife in an attempt to kidnap a 13-year-old girl.

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