The five goals of contemporary sentencing are retribution, incapacitation, deterrence, rehabilitation and victim restoration, according to the Rio Hondo College Public Safety Division. Traditional sentences are jail time, fines, probation or the death penalty.
Contemporary alternative sentencing includes restitution payments, community service, substance abuse rehabilitation and suspended sentences with certain conditions, according to Cornell University Law School. Sentencing usually focuses on deterring a future crime by the convict and by other individuals thinking of committing the same crime, states Cornell. Sentencing also focuses on retribution. A judge's main role in sentencing is handing down the least severe sentence that still satisfies both the deterrence and retribution goals. Judges also must consider the safety of society when imposing sentences.