The first step we take once in creating a sentencing video is to meet with the attorney and the defendant and go over all of the details in the case. We listen very carefully to the mitigating circumstances that led up to offense and to exactly what the defendant was thinking when he/she committed the offense.
Since every situation is different, we make sure that we understand every detail so that when we tell the story, it is presented to the judge in an honest and truthful manner.
Narcotics, alcohol, domestic abuse, and psychological imbalances are often the catalysts of the defendant committing the crime for which they are being sentenced. In these particular cases, we try to show how the actions that the defendant took were outside of their character and that they would normally never commit an such an immoral act.
A COMPREHENSIVE ANALYSIS
While every state has different legislative laws determining minimum sentence prison terms, it is still, ultimately, up to the judge to determine what the appropriate punishment is for the offense that was committed. Similarly, it is the prosecutors job to make the defendant look as guilty culpable and remorseless as they can. That's why is is so critical for the judge to know all of the facts.
Sometimes, we have to spend hours with a defendant to unlock key circumstances that can shed a whole new light on their case. A particular action or incident or even a crisis, that could have been easily overlooked, which could be a pivotal factor on how the judge will make hi/her determination.
This is why we take each and every case very seriously. The prosecutor does not want the judge to know the "Good Sides" of a defendant. We have seen how many defendants have gone out of there way, even before they have been caught, to change there sabotaging behavior, such as going back to school to earn a degree, finding a good job, attending NA/AA meetings, getting therapy and even going so far as to make reparations to a victim or victims (including monetary compensation to victims). The prisons are already overcrowded to the point where it is essential to have prison reform.
The overcriminalization of drug use is one of the reasons why most people in the US are incarcerated. In fact, drug offenses account for the incarceration of almost half a million people in the U.S. alone, and nonviolent drug convictions remain a defining feature of the federal prison system. Police make over 1 million drug possession arrests each year, and many of these arrests lead to prison sentences. Drug arrests give individuals permanent criminal records, hurting their employment prospects and increasing the likelihood of longer sentences for any future offenses.
Ending mass drug incarceration must begin with reforming the criminal justice system. As part of this change, showing judges a Complete Picture of the defendants offences,could have a major impact on lengthy prison sentences and in many cases, could even completely avert incarceration all together. This could also effect community's in that citizens would be back to support their families, pay taxes, and continue being beneficial members of society.
The cost for housing prisoners varies greatly from state to state, as well as from year to year and the level of security. For instance, the average annual cost of incarceration in most state Federal prisons in 2010 was estimated to be around $28,284 per inmate. However, According to the California Legislative Analysts Office, the annual cost of incarceration in California in 2009 was $47,102 per year. In New York, it was even hire...and housing an inmate in Guantanamo Bay costs taxpayers approximately $900,000 per year.
Today, the costs for incarcerating prisoners have reached an all time high at more that $79,560. In California alone, the spending plan for the corrections facilities next year is over $12 Billion dollars. Even as court orders related to overcrowding have reduced the population by about one-quarter. Salaries and benefits for prison guards and medical providers drove much of the increase. The result is a per-inmate cost that is the nation’s highest — and is actually $2,000 above what it would cost to attend Harvard including tuition, fees, room and board, and other expenses.
Breakdown of costs per year for incarcerating prisoners:
The The American criminal justice system holds almost 2.3 million people in 1,719 state prisons, 109 federal prisons, 1,772 juvenile correctional facilities, 3,163 local jails, and 80 Indian Country jails as well as in military prisons, immigration detention facilities, civil commitment centers, state psychiatric hospitals, and prisons in the U.S. territories.
Being sentenced and the age groups:
THE NEED FOR REFORM
Focusing on the policy changes that can end mass incarceration, and not just put a dent in it, requires the public to put these issues into perspective. While it’s true that current laws continue to punish people harshly for nothing more than drug possession and account for the incarceration of almost half a million people, there are viable ways that can change the justice system. Beginning with positive and proven methods, such as rehabs, medications, therapy, and sentencing videos.
It is our intention to help defendants to return to there families, friends and communities and with a fresh new start. Not only do we help try to show why they are worthy of a second chance, we also assist them with getting counseling, therapy and even specialized drugs that can help them to secure a happy and rewarding future.
Treating the defendants with empathy, friendship and genuine assistance, provides a unique opportunity to decrease substance abuse and reduce associated criminal behavior. Emerging neuroscience has the potential to transform traditional sanction-oriented public safety approaches by providing new therapeutic strategies against addiction that could be used to greatly improve the criminal justice system. We believe that if these steps are implemented in the criminal justice system, it would exponentially help improve public health and reduce criminal behavior.
"The With the help of Complete Picture's sentencing videos, I've seen my client's sentence's cut to less than half of what they would normally be."
- Shari Rusk