Guidelines may indicate that probation is an option, giving the judge some leeway in sentencing. Still for other judges, the kinds of services an offender may require will often dictate whether or not probation is a viable option.
A number of the crimes that occur in my state are related to drugs; the sale of drugs, being in possession of drugs, being under the influence of drugs in a public place. In many instances, contingent upon the factors outlined above, probation is a viable option even if the person pleads guilty, particularly if this is a first offense, the client is an habitual user but no one else is directly hurt in the commission of the crime, and in situations of possession with no intent to sell.
I think that imprisonment is imposed in many of these cases when it should not be. The three strike rule with habitual users...
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