Socio-legal analysis of the imposition of heavy terms of imprisonment as an alternative to life imprisonment

Both scholars and practitioners and representatives of public and religious organizations give particular attention and focus scientific discourse on the matter of expedience of increasing the upper limit of punishment in the form of imprisonment for a specified period. It is considered through the lens of two antipodal approaches that seek, on the one hand, to carry out reforms in this direction solely for the purpose of adding greater punitive measures, and, on the other hand, by introducing such an initiative, consider the possibility of using it as an alternative to life imprisonment. Objectively, at present, matters connected with life imprisonment and persons sentenced to this type of punitive measures in Ukraine are the least regulated in relation to the provisions of international legislation and world prison practice. Ukraine is not the only European country where there is still no parole mechanism for life sentences, despite the fact that this issue has long and successfully been resolved in other countries. Instead, in Ukrainian society we see a demand for punishment (punitive policy) amongst citizens, the secure confinement of criminals behind bars, without the desire to realize that after serving their sentence, they will return to society, and without proper corrective and rehabilitation work, effective activities of penitentiary probation, support from local communities, they are not going to be ready to exercise law-abiding behaviour. All of the above determines the relevance of this issue and requires a consistent and thorough scientific study of the possibility of raising the upper limit of criminal penalties for particularly serious crimes, as an alternative to life imprisonment. Reasonable implementation of such an initiative will allow to administrate punishment to the perpetrator with minimal harm to their personality, facilitating an appropriate reintegration of the person into society, and as a result, will reduce the crime rate and improve the state of national security at large