IP 41 Law and Justice 1 Course Development

Unit 10: Sentencing and Correctional Issues

Unit Details

  • Course Weight: 10%
  • Hours of Instruction: 15 +/-
  • Course Assessment Questions: 10
  • Standard: The Learner will be able to understand sentencing and correctional issues (RBT: B2)


  1. Identify the general factors influencing a judge’s sentencing decision.
  2. Explain the three basic types of sentences.
  3. Understand the rationales or justifications for criminal punishment.
  4. Explain the purposes of pre-sentence investigation reports.
  5. Summarize the arguments in support of and in opposition to Three Strikes Laws.
  6. Describe correctional officer duties.
  7. Explain how today’s inmate society differs from those of the past.
  8. Identify prisoners’ rights.
  9. Explain ways an inmate is released from prison.
  10. Summarize what recidivism research reveals about the success of the prison in achieving deterrence and rehabilitation.
  11. Debate issues related to capital punishment

My Lesson

  • Feel free to use my plans as a guide. My course is based on 52 minute class periods.
  • My students in the first year course are 9th or 10th graders.
  • These materials may need updating. Be sure to check web links.
  • If possible, visit a local prison. Check with the state agencies about tours.
  • We use the text Introduction to Criminal Justice Bohn/Haley. In this unit they read Chapters 9-11.
  • There are some awesome discussions you can have in this unit.


Daily Outline

  1. Discuss debate and research assignments, media L.A. Behind Bars
  2. Finish media, research day
  3. Notes
  4. Notes, class debate on 2 strikes/mandatory sentencing
  5. Notes, Machines of Death article
  6. Notes, class debate on death penalty
  7. Media Judgment at Midnight
  8. Notes
  9. Notes
  10. Notes
  11. Cell Extraction lab
  12. Notes
  13. Media: Angola The Farm
  14. Prison trip
  15. Review
  16. Game Show
  17. Test

My Dropbox

All the files I used in the this unit can be viewed and downloaded. To print, be sure to download first. Click Here.

Additional Resources


Texas Education Agency has online teacher materials for Texas courses.
Correctional Services Course