Chapter Activities

These lively and stimulating ideas for use in and out of class reinforce active learning. The activities apply to individual or group projects.

Activity 1:

Applying Intermediate Sanctions

Using the following scenarios and list of possible sanctions, have students create a probation supervision plan using the intermediate sanction model.

Scenario 1: John, a 50-year-old with a spotty work history in plumbing, was released on parole after serving 5 years of a 5- to 10-year sentence for armed robbery. He was assigned to meet with a parole agent monthly for supervision and monitoring of his conditions of release including employment, restitution, 10 p.m. curfew, and anger management. John violated the conditions of his parole after being arrested for possession of 20 ounces of marijuana with intent to distribute.

Scenario 2: Janine was convicted of forgery after impersonating her mother-in-law in attempts to secure a $30,000 loan. When arrested, she had a vial of white powder on her person and was initially charged with possession of cocaine though this charge was dropped after toxicologists could not confirm that the powder was cocaine. She is a married 36-year-old with two children under the age of 5, employed, with no prior convictions.

Scenario 3: George was arrested for domestic violence after his girlfriend Jill called the police during a fight they were having at their shared apartment. When the police arrived, Jill described the altercation, showed the police the three places where George hit her with his fists (her lower back, shoulder, and jaw). She mentioned that she had called the police previously when George assaulted her and George was not arrested instead receiving a warning after Jill chose not to press charges. When police reviewed George’s prior history, they discovered he had spent 8 months in jail in a nearby town for assault and battery. He is 20 years old and recently completed his GED. He is trained as a sous chef and has been employed at a new restaurant in an urban town.

Possible intermediate sanctions:

Shock incarceration

Increased supervision

Anger management

Education/vocation classes

Drug/alcohol treatment



House arrest

Electronic monitoring

Halfway house

Intensive supervision probation

Cognitive behavioral therapy

Interpersonal skills training

Family counseling

Mentoring program

Activity 2:

Are Intermediate Sanctions Helpful or Net Widening?

Discuss with students how intermediate sanctions arose as a sentencing option in U.S. corrections in response to overcrowding in prison and the need for balance between unsupervised probation and incarceration. In a reaction paper, ask students to evaluate the success of intermediate sanctions in the 21st century from two perspectives: (1) providing increased supervision over traditional probation and (2) increasing the number of persons under more intensive supervision who may have completed traditional probation successfully.

The paper should include the following sections: an introduction summarizing the goal of intermediate sanctions and describing what they entail, a developed statement about how they are currently implemented in your state, and a summary highlighting whether they have been successful in achieving their intended goal.