Determinant Sentence is a definite prison or jail term decided by the court, and the offender is not subject to reassessment by a parole board or other related agencies. According to Rick Cofer, such sentences may take decades before being reviewed hence hindering convicts from changing for the better. When it comes to juvenile offenses, determinant sentences become more complicated compared to adult cases since young people are growing. Rick Cofer states that serious crimes such as child sex offenses may become static, leading to determinant sentences hence affecting young people.
History of Determinant Sentences on Child Sex Crimes
The Determinant Sentence Act was introduced to lower the conviction age of child offenders from fifteen to thirteen and to receive a maximum sentence of six years on serious offenses. The will then decide the case in adult criminal courts after the Texas Family Law proposed the utilization of Determinant Sentence Act over discretional transfer for youthful offenders. Within the Act, youth offenders, under determinant sentence, should serve their term in a juvenile facility until the age of eighteen and later transferred to an adult facility after a Hearing in a juvenile court.
Over the years, the Rick Cofer system has had multiple changes such as the addition of eleven more crimes eligible for determinant sentences; and the extension of the highest sentence, from thirty to forty years. Among the offenses under the determinant sentence is the child sex crime which, over the years, has received more provisions to protect youthful offenders. The Juvenile Justice Code in Texas highlighted provisions within the Rick Cofer law to provide an interpretation of child sex crimes concerning determinant sentencing.
Juvenile Sex Crimes and Determinant Sentences
According to thenewsversion, the Determinant Sentence Act lists Aggravated Sexual Assault as one of the critical felonies as it entails sexual actions executed to another without their consent. Rick Cofer suggests that the crime is categorized as Aggravated Sexual Assault under the Penal Code section if the victim is under the age of fourteen, disabled or elderly and accompanies other offenses like violence and aggression. Rick Cofer states that juvenile sex offenders below seventeen years are eligible to one of the three types of verdicts; probation, determinate or indeterminate sentence.
Probation sentences entail an individual remaining at home and subject to specific demands over a specified period. Indeterminate sentences involve the youthful offender detained at the Texas Juvenile Justice Department facility for a minimum of nine to twenty-four weeks or when they attain the age of nineteen. Rick Cofer law categorizes determinate sentences as the most serious and involves first-degree felonies, which accompany up to forty years in prison depending on the judge’s decision.
Rick Cofer requires all juvenile sex crimes with determinate or indeterminate sentences be registered typically as sex offenders. Texas demands all child sex offenders listed and be readily accessed by multiple law agencies such as law enforcement and both public and private schools. After serving time, youthful sex offenders are usually under surveillance by the U.S Department of Justice for three years, in about fifteen states in the country, to prove the positive effect of the rehabilitation program.